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.
A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
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
The object the Bielskis take from their house is a mezuzah, a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative case). A mezuzah is affixed to the door-frame of Jewish homes to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to inscribe the words of the Shema "on the door-posts of your house". The parchment is inscribed with specified Hebrew verses from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21). These verses comprise the Jewish prayer "Shema Yisrael", beginning with the phrase: "Listen, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." See more »
Near the funeral scene, a North American mourning dove's distinctive call is heard. See more »
I enjoyed "Defiance" immensely -- there was humor and heartache, with a liberal dose of action. Not a brainless action movie, enough of a story to make it memorable, and fast-paced enough to keep me from becoming bored.
On the other hand, although the movie captures the spirit of the story, it is far from a documentary, and I'd have preferred a more historically accurate film. I'm biased, though -- I read the Peter Duffy book "Bielski Brothers" soon after it was released ("Defiance" is based on a different book), and I found the real story even more compelling than the Hollywood version.
Nonetheless, I live in the real world where directors have to shoot on a budget, and this was a good, diverting peek into a story that was long overdue to be told.
163 of 244 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?