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Defiance (I) (2008)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  16 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 109,517 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 228 user | 201 critic | 34 from

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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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 film was kick-started some year's earlier when Edward Zwick was given Zus Bielski's (1912 - 1995) obituary to read from the 'The New York Times'. See more »


After Zus and Tuvia fight each other, Zus gets up and the bottom of his jacket is flipped up. Cut to another angle, it is down. As Zus leaves past him, it is up again. See more »


Lazar: [turning around to face the camp] Halt who goes there!
Tuvia Bielski: Lazar, i'm coming from the camp, you only say that to people going towards the camp! The Danger is out there, not in here!
See more »


Referenced in Defiance: Return to the Forest (2009) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Nothing Is Impossible to Survive
25 December 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

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")

39 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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historically inacurate movie matedom
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