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Defiance 2008

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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:
Jamie Bell, Liev Schreiber
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a little gem of a film, great story line and kept the viewer interested from start to finish, its a true story about the Jews, Germans and Russians, dont want to say to much about it , and give anything away, but, if your into true stories you will really enjoy this one, well worth the money and a good nights viewing, I enjoyed it very much.
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A huge powerful thrust to the midriff in execution. Sits alongside Come and See and the various Russian greats as a slice of life of WW2. The Bielski brothers, of which there are three, are the sorts of guys who were hoodlums before the war. When it starts they are the survivors whilst the intellectuals and the bourgeois, cannot get their minds round the complexity and intensity of what is being planned - their decimation. It is because they were able to grasp the enormity they were able to survive. This was an issue Bettelheim grasped in "The Informed Heart".

However they are no mere hoodlums because the film explores their 'social interest' - the ability to connect to the plight of others and deals with the class issues within the Jewish communities. As hoodlums who have practical survival skills they are able to adapt very quickly. Meanwhile the bourgeois Jews realise that their skills are not so useful for survival.

The philosophical components deal with the concept of revenge - and there is plenty of it within the film. First the roll calls of dead family members penetrate the forest with each new arrival. The desire to seek revenge becomes paramount until they realise this has a corresponding effect on survival- becoming more acute as more people join them. Then they have to make a decision about the children, women and elderly - can they afford to feed them. Within the camp comes another issue around relationships, food and illness. Then there is the relationship with the Soviet partisans, the Belorussian Police and the Germans.

The Nazis are the dark shadows which haunt the film as a blackness that descends and reaps death by taking a cull. It is seat of the pants viewing. In between are the magical moments of being alive.
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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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