This is a story of forgotten heroes - of Emperors, war correspondents and ordinary people.
The film takes us back to 19th century Europe. It tells about the role of the American journalist Januarius MacGahan who was the word, and of Russian Emperor Alexander II, who was the sword of the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 from the Ottoman bondage.
MacGahan, an accredited and well respected 19th century war correspondent is a part of an international committee, headed by the American diplomat Eugene Schuyler and specially formed to visit the sites of massacres over civil population in the Bulgarian lands of the Turkish Empire. The year is 1876, when Bulgarians are still heavily suppressed, yearning for freedom and education and have made an attempt to proclaim their Independence by organizing uprisings. At that time the Ottoman Empire tries to cover the traces of brutality, and sets a total censorship on international correspondence as well as full control over the press and the telegraph. However, the reports on the atrocities, or as they are called, ?Letters from Hell? reach the British press, exposing the real number of victims and the extent of violence. The articles, published in the London Paper Daily News caused huge response from the public, raised the awareness of the Western society and Russia, and by sequence of events lead to the Liberation and the Independence of Bulgaria in March 1878. As a military correspondent, MacGahan was reporting the war, but died infected from typhus, after trying to save his friend.
The story of Januarius MacGahan has a transcendental message about the power of truth and the importance of individual decision making within a complex geopolitical, social and economic set of circumstances. It shows that pure journalism, teamed with responsible governance has the power to influence the turn of history, while serving people?s generic search for peace and freedom.
The film was produced with the kind collaboration of the American Embassy in Bulgaria, Office of Governor Ted Strickland, as well as the great help of the residents of New Lexington, Ohio.