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Odyssey of Heroes

Title: Odyssey of Heroes
Original title: Die Männer der Emden
Format: 2 x two hours, HD
Felicitas Woll (DRESDEN)
Sebastian Blomberg (The BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX)
Jan Henrik Stahlberg
Oliver Korittke
Directed by: Berengar Pfahl
Produced by: Berengar Pfahl Film in co-production with ARD Degeto
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Odyssey of Heroes

They lost their ship. But love kept them from losing hope.

Before the guns of August 1914 usher in World War I, the German colony of Tsingtao on the Chinese mainland is enjoying its last days of peace and prosperity. Karl Overbeck, a young naval officer, has secretly proposed to Maria von Plettenberg, whose parents want her to wed the wealthy aristocrat von Mahnstein. Then the war begins, and Maria and Karl are separated: Maria and her family must flee Tsingtao, and Karl goes to sea on the warship Emden.

While part of the crew under Captain-Lieutenant von Mücke is carrying out a mission on Cocos Island, the Emden, anchored off the coast, is shelled and sinks, causing a considerable loss of lives. The resourceful, clever von Mücke, a gentleman and man of honor, requisitions an old, leaking schooner and swears that he and his men will make their way back to Berlin. Assisting him wholeheartedly is Karl Overbeck, who has another reason for making it home alive: Maria...

What follows are weeks of endless ordeals, ranging from lack of wind to contaminated drinking water and growing signs of mutiny. The crew is then picked up by a German merchant ship and ultimately makes it to Turkish-held Arabia, where they are greeted as heroes. Maria, meanwhile, has been taken prisoner in Ceylon with her family, but is treated well because of von Mahnstein, whom she agrees to marry after hearing about the destruction of the Emden...

The Emden men are allowed only a brief rest before von Mücke rallies them together for the most perilous part of their odyssey: a hike across the desert towards Suez. Awaiting them are bands of armed Bedouins under the control of Lawrence of Arabia. Almost in sight of the railway that can take them to freedom, the men are ambushed and suffer a devastating attack. Can they still be saved? Will they make it home? And will they find their loved ones still waiting for them on a continent in turmoil?