Defiance 2008

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(188) IMDb 7.2/10
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Three Jewish brothers (Craig, Schreiber and Bell) escape from Nazi-occupied Poland into the Belarussian forest, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and others in danger.

Starring:
George MacKay, Daniel Craig
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 17 minutes
Starring George MacKay, Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
Director Edward Zwick
Genres Drama
Studio MOMENTUM PICTURES
Rental release 18 May 2009
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 17 minutes
Starring George MacKay, Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
Director Edward Zwick
Genres Drama
Studio MOMENTUM PICTURES
Rental release 18 May 2009
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scarlett O'Hara on 8 Jun. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'll keep this review short and sweet (ish) -

I found the film excellent, and the story on which it is based (a true story) is genuinely moving. Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber in particular, give strong portrayals of the elder Bielski brothers, revealing a combination of courage, moral purpose and vulnerability, which seems fitting to their situation in the forest, being perennially hunted. he supporting cast are good, and the writing is fit for purpose.

I'm knocking one star off becasue this DVD is one of those that not only forces you to watch several trailers first (without being able to leap straight to the options Menu for the film itself), but it also forces you to watch an ad. If I want that, I'll happily go to the cinema, but please, don't force trailers on us in the comfort of our homes!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Crowe TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
It's a great story, and it makes a good-looking movie here, with strong performances from Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell, and great location work in Eastern Europe in the forests quite near to where the actual events took place on which this story is based. The director Edward Zwick obviously likes the big historical canvas -- as in "Glory" -- and he has made a film that gestures appropriately at the kind of heroism displayed by the Bielski brothers Tuvia (Craig) and Zus (Schreiber) as they sought to protect over a thousand Jews from Nazi attacks in the Belorussian forests between 1941 and 1945. The action covers the first two years of their arboreal nomadic existence, perhaps because later Nazi attacks on their camps tapered off as German attention focused more on the Western front. The following comments list some reservations I have about the movie, but these are not meant in any way to discourage your seeing it. Rather, they indicate where Zwick (and/or his screenwriters) made what I think were some compromises with Hollywood conventions -- and maybe broader cultural conventions as well -- despite Zwick's desire to have made a movie that wasn't just "another Hollywood movie" (as he says in one of the special features).

1. The narrative sets up the brothers as types: Tuvia is the man who wants to fight the Nazis without becoming monstrous, like the Nazis. He wants to build a community and would rather die as a human being than live as an animal. Zus has no time for scruples; he just wants to fight. Both men's families have been killed, and their reactions to hearing of their respective losses cement the type difference.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Peter K on 19 July 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Again we learn the lesson here that the human spirit can never be crushed. Filmed in Lithuania very near to the original locations of events which have remained under wraps for years.

The cast list, apart from the obvious leads, reads like the Lithuanian telephone directory. This film has the smack of authenticity about it which is so often lacking in other films of this type. Maybe this was achieved by its slight understatement.
In the Bluray version one could see every pine needle, every stubbled face and every speck of dirt in the sharpest detail.

A gritty, earthy and squalid tale of the will to survive of a group of Jews in Byelorus who refused to be expunged from the face of the earth by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Daniel Craig effectively puts across the doubts which racked the leader who had the awesome responsibility of saving large numbers of Jews form extinction by organising their survival in the depths of the forest and the problems associated with managing a large group of people with minds of their own.

Particularly moving, maybe even more so than the actual film, is the documentary attached, featuring the descendants of the Bielski brotherss who led the group. They piece together the amazing modesty
and understatement of their grandparents who after the war settled in the US and made new lives for themselves. The section where these descendants visit the set as the film is being made and relive past events is particularly poignant.

If one should ever begin to find tiresome the way that Jews keep going on about the war then watch this and vow that it should never happen again.
Brilliant performance by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and the rest of the cast.
Moving, Inspiring, Brilliant. Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
1941 Belorussia, fleeing from the invading Nazi forces, the Bielski brothers seek refuge out in the vast forest. As more survivors find there way into the trees, the Bielski's help to form a new community that manages to thrive in spite of the overwhelming odds against them surviving. But the brothers have different ideals, is refuge to be their main goal? Or should they be striking out against the Nazi oppressors?

Defiance is adapted from the novel Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, written by Dr. Nechama Tec. It's a stirringly emotional story that most definitely needed to be told, however the factual content of this adaptation has been called into question by many internet reviewers. It's not my particular want to delve too deep into it as I'm really only interested in the film as an experience, what isn't in doubt is that these were real people, and these incidents happened, their legacy lives on and hooray to that I say.

Defiance as a film relies more on its story than its actual people to deliver the goods, something director Edward Zwick has often been guilty of before. Not that that is a bad thing here, for the story is required to be the main character of the piece, but for sure it feels like holes are dotted throughout the 136 minute running time, justifiable revenge leanings are jettisoned in favour of the usual alternative community draw backs. All the trade marks are in here as Zwick crams them in by the reel, divided aspirations, weight of leadership, romance, jealousy and fractions within the camp, so sadly the film wrongly feels a touch shallow and not fully formed, we have as it were, seen it all before.
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