A love letter to Turkey: “The Water Diviner”
If you are expecting another orientalist view on Turkish people, this movie will surprise you. Russell Crow and his scrip writers Andrew Anastosios and Andrew Knight actually did their study on Turkish culture before writing the story.
The story behind the movie goes back to a letter containing the line “..an old man came from Australia to here looking for his sons. We helped him. He then went to Italy..”. The letter was written by Lieutenant-Colonel Cyril Hughes. The letter inspired Anastosios and Knight to come up with the film’s script. After researching for a few years year, they couldn’t identify the man who was searching for his sons but they learned a lot about the Gallipoli war in Canakkale.
Both writers have deep connections with Turkey; Andrew Anastasios met his wife on plane while they were flying to Turkey. They both worked as archeologists in Erzurum and got married in Bodrum. Andrew Knight is married to Turkish girl Banu Erzeren. Both writers have visited Turkey around 20 times in last 20 years.
As a Greek-Australian, Anastosios believes they portrayed the Turkish, Greek and Australian soldiers with same neutrality. He also says his Mediterranean roots and interest in history helped him feel a certain sense of “belonging” to Istanbul and that the movie for him, is in a way “a love letter addressed to Turkey”