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Defiance (I) (2008)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  16 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 110,897 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 231 user | 201 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamara Skidelsky
Kate Fahy ...


On the run and hiding in the deep forests of the then German occupied Poland and Belorussia (World War II), the four Bielski brothers find the impossible task of foraging for food and weapons for their survival. They live, not only with the fear of discovery, contending with neighboring Soviet partisans and knowing whom to trust but also take the responsibility of looking after a large mass of fleeing Polish Jews from the German war machine. Women, men, children, the elderly and the young alike are all hiding in makeshift homes in the dark, cold and unforgiving forests in the darkest times of German occupied Eastern Europe. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

forest | russian | jewish | camp | nazis | See All (173) »


From the director of Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desafío  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$123,513 (USA) (2 January 2009)


$28,622,873 (USA) (24 April 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The makers considered shooting in Poland and Romania before settling upon Lithuania. See more »


The movie talks about Israel several times, but even though the modern nation of Israel wasn't officially founded until 1948, the Jews have always referred to themselves collectively as Israel in reference to the ancient Israelite kingdom and their ancestry. See more »


Bella: Women need guns, too.
Zus Bielski: What for?
Bella: For... protection.
Zus Bielski: Women have men for protection.
See more »


Referenced in The Big Bang Theory: The Killer Robot Instability (2009) See more »


Oy, Pri Luzhku, Pri Luzhke
Performed by Ravil Isyanov
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

We may be hunted like animals, but we will not become animals
7 January 2009 | by (every where) – See all my reviews

The movie was good. Not Zwick's best effort though and as for the acting it was Liev Schreiber that delivered the most. Every time I see Craig I see James Bond and that other guy, Jamie Bell, was barely even on screen. I'm guessing most of his scenes were cut out of the film to pave the way for more Craig screen time. The action set pieces were mostly impressive but the problem is, its over before you know it. But I can honestly say, it was impressive nonetheless. Its not brainless by any means, the movie has a profound and compelling story. One can only wonder how these filmmakers come up with more WWII movie ideas every year.

From a visual point of view, the movie looks absolutely beautiful. From the authentic weaponry and uniforms to the rich and colorful Lithuanian locations, Defiance may fall flat during some points throughout the film; as with every other black and white war movies that's been released, the Germans are depicted as war machines of death without remorse, if you can overlook these flaws I think it is an enjoyable film and in its entirety, Defiance is an overwhelming movie that doesn't glamorize the war but shows the intense reality behind it all. A must see for all war movie fans out there.

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historically inacurate movie matedom
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What is the good luck charm the Bielskis pass to each other? dwebbieappleton
Made for TV?? rn189307
Scene w/Arkady getting blown away really happened? perljunkie@yahoo.com
What happened to Aron Bielski? sallanblock-1
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