Chessboard of Destiny
ACTION DRAMA WAR HISTORICAL FICTION SUSPENSE/THRILLER POLITICAL CRIME DETECTIVE
20th Century (multiple decades),2000s
Eugenia Jenny Williams
• Collecting evidence and witnesses for the identification and conviction of a Nazi War criminal, presently living in Australia. • Romani people in Transylvania, displacement and persecution, emigration and life in Australian Alps building the Hydroelectric scheme.
The Gypsy busker plays his harmonica, reminiscing and observing the passers-by. In the nearby butcher shop a drama unfolds: A customer recognises the man as a Fieldweber in Auschwitz. The Police and Interpol steps in. Two English lawyers are commissioned to collect the convincing material.
Old lovers are reunited, family ties are revealed. The War criminal is caught and is put to justice. New love ties are budding. People keep passing each other in streets not knowing that they are pursuing the same goal as the other. On the large chessboard of life one game is finalised, Checkmate!!
Australia, Transylvania, Auschwitz, Eastern Europe- ex USSR countries
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Overcoming Monster/Villain,Voyage and Return,Tragedy,Internal Journey/Rebirth
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Philosophical Questions,Meaningful Message
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Main Character Details
Name: Layosh Lovash
Key Traits: Romantic,Uneducated,Modest,Complex,Desperate,Insecure,Empathetic,Faithful,Skillful
Additional Character Details
Name: Hans Hoffstern/alias Hans Schmidt
Key Traits: Aggressive,Criminal,Leader,Manipulative,Patriotic,Villainous,Power Hungry,Educated,Unapologetic,Secretive
Additional Character Details
Name: Ivor Thomas
Key Traits: Strong Moral Code,Romantic,Modest,Confident,Empathetic,Educated,Honorable,Sexy,Skillful
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Engaging,Educated,Skillful,Romantic,Empathetic,Faithful,Sophisticated,Charming
At the entrance to the Sydney car park, an ageing Gypsy busker plays the harmonica, reminiscing about his youth in Transylvania, his emigration to Australia, where he worked with a multicultural work force.He is observing the passersby and with a Gypsy instinct fantasising about some, who are spilling out of the car park each morning putting their destinies together. In the nearby butcher shop a drama unfolds when a woman recognises a customer as a Fieldweber in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Police and Interpol get involved and the identification of the man, who lives in Australia under alias begins. On the huge chess board of destiny the players for unknown reasons that seem like incidents to them, are gathering and are pushed into position. Two English lawyers are commissioned to collect evidence and identification of the accused. They travel to far corners of Europe, where the concentration camps existed, giving a picture of past and present life there. The War criminal is still plotting to revenge, creating offshore businesses in LA and Brazil and laundering money to support the New generation of Nazis in Germany. This story of intrigue has a happy ending. Old lovers are united, the scheming and shady activities of the War Criminal are exposed as he is handed over to authorities. Some of the fantasies of the Gypsy busker are fulfilled. One chess game on the chessboard of destiny is finalised, finished- Checkmate!
POLITICS, WAR, DRAMA, ROMANCE
Two lawyer investigators must go to Moldova in order to confirm the identity of an accuser in order to persecute a Nazi war criminal. Back home in their native Australia, the case brings together old lives that didn't know how close they were connected in their new lives. The holocaust's effects in both Jewish and Romani families are still felt almost sixty years later even though the victims and their descendants are half a world away.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
The book profile's logline is key words about conflicts dealt within the narrative, but the logline would be more eye catching as a two sentence summary of the main idea of the story. The development pitch is very in depth and expresses the narrative while the short summaries second paragraph is slightly too vague as it is unclear who is the protagonist.
Draw of Story
The story's setting in 2002 Australia is an unexpected place for a war criminal from WWII to be discovered and this makes proving the case complicated. The lawyers sent to Moldova are relatable as fishes out of water trying to recover an almost lost history in an exotic location.
There is a lot of focus on the investigator's travel adventures rather than the actual trial of the war criminal and their past connection to the accuser. This makes the genre and theme confusing as to whether it is about human connection, a courtroom case or a historical frame story.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that a Nazi war criminal is found hiding in Australia in 2002 and he is recognized at a bakery by one of his victims. The investigation as the frame story is also interesting as it allows a revisit to Europe without the overuse of flashbacks but also a fresh perspective on the location and history.
This could have a medium to large size fanbase depending on if the narrative is adapted to a court room prestige drama, historical period piece with a frame story, or made more into a roadtrip movie of the investigators in Europe.
This may possibly have awards potential due to the complicated procedures of prosecuting Nazi war criminals in the 21st century and the web of ethics it entails. These types of issues generally gain recognition and the older actors who would in habit the elderly parts are usually esteemed professionals with a history of nominations.
Similar Films/TV Series
WOMAN IN GOLD, DENIAL, THE GOOD LIAR, THE DEBT, THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER, THE STRANGER
What’s New About the Story
The originality stems from combining Romani culture with the well known Jewish elements of the Holocaust. The use of a chessboard to show how everyone is connected could be clearer or more consistent to make the semi-frequent use more meaningful.
Ivor is on the cusp of starting to feel like settling down before he receives the war criminal case. He is a capable lawyer who is skillful in more ways than just his profession. Lovash is a wistful romantic filled with old world charm.
Uniqueness of Story
This is neither completely an investigation nor is it a historical drama. It is almost as if there are two different narratives that are eventually intertwined but when focused, the lawyer's personal life seems unrelated. If taken in the direction of solely focuses on persecuting the criminal in 2002 Australia from the perspectives of the parties involved rather than second hand through the investigation this would be more original.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Rather than telling about the past in interrogating the victims to prove the identities of the accused and the accuser, the narrative might have more tension if the story is shown from the first hand perspective more often. The romantic subplots of Ivor as less of a focus would also help clarify the genre. The story seems split between the travels and the re-connections back in Australia, so combining them more closely would likely create a more cohesive string of rising actions leading to the case.