Essentially, the story is of a burglar (Lester) who breaks into a house of an old woman (Murphy) in New York and she tells him the story of American cowboys (Fiennes and Wenham) in the Ottoman Empire in Macedonia and their tangled fraternal love/hatred when confronted with a beautiful woman. It's a story that dips in and out of narrative timelines. David Wenham and Joseph Fiennes play two cowboy brothers that wind up in Macedonia, fighting on different sides in a bloody conflict between the Macedonian natives and the oppressive Ottomans. Luke fights on the Ottoman side because they pay in gold, Elijah on the Macedonian because they are the right side. There are many bloody scenes here and it is one thing that I don't like with this film. The overall carnage gets too exhausting, simply put. And there is no real thrill in it either, except for the villains getting killed. The parallel stories intertwining aren't nearly as effective here as in "Before the rain". The plot with the black burglar and the old woman is weak and ineffective. Only the dramatic relationship between Luke (Wenham)and Elijah (Fiennes) and their rivalry over the beautiful and headstrong Lilith (unknown but solid actress) is what makes this film interesting and worthwhile. Wenham gives a really powerful performance here and even overshadows both Fiennes and the rest of the cast. Well worth watching.