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.
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
An alternate opening scene would feature an old Tuvia, played by Daniel Craig in make-up, and his son in present-day New York City. The scene was filmed, but was cut by director Edward Zwick. The reason was becuase Zwick felt it would be "too nice" compared to the realism and brutality of the rest of the film. See more »
Zus and some others go to the police station to get Ampicillin to treat the pneumonia that is common in the camp. Ampicillin did not come into clinical use until 1961. Even "simple" penicillin would not have been available in Belorussia in the early 1940s. See more »
In 1941, in Belorussia, the Jewish Bielski brothers succeed in escaping from the massacre of the German in their village where their parents were killed. They hide in the woods and sooner other runaway Jews join them. Tuvia Bielski (Daniel Craig), the eldest brother, assumes the leadership of the survivors and plans a camp with tasks for everyone in the community; however, his brother Zus Bielski (Liev Schreiber) wants to fight against the Germans and does not agree with Tuvia's directions. Zus decides to join the Russian resistance that believes that Jews do not fight. While Tuvia welcomes any survivor in his camp with his two younger brothers and fight for food and ammunition, Zus finds anti- Semitism among the Russian partisans.
"Defiance" is an excellent movie based on a true story that proves that nothing is impossible to survive. Of course, the plot is romanticized, but the merit of these Bielski brothers is undeniable. The direction of Edward Zwick (from "Blood Diamond") is outstanding, with the journey of a group of survivors that uses human characters in drama, romance and action in realistic scenes (the battle sequences are amazing). The landscapes are extremely beautiful, especially in the winter with the frozen forest. The cast is magnificent, and is difficult to highlight an individual performance. The beauty of the unknown Alexa Davalos is impressive. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Um Ato de Liberdade" ("An Act of Liberty")
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