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Defiance (I) (2008)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 103,910 users   Metascore: 58/100
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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.

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Title: Defiance (2008)

Defiance (2008) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Freedom begins with an act of defiance!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desafío  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,198,425 (UK) (9 January 2009)

Gross:

$28,622,873 (USA) (24 April 2009)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The location for the birch woods in the film was found using Google Earth. See more »

Goofs

Half the movie takes place in the winter, oftentimes snowing, yet not in one scene do the actors show their breath, nor do the hot soups show any steam. See more »

Quotes

Shamon Haretz: Yes. You annoy me, therefore I exist.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Oy, Pri Luzhku, Pri Luzhke
Traditional
Performed by Ravil Isyanov
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Defiance... And an Aryan will lead them.
13 June 2009 | by (Clearwater Fl) – See all my reviews

Defiance: 4 out of 10: I have a soft spot for director Edward Zwick. I have a real soft spot for his Blood Diamond flick despite its pedestrian script and subconscious racism. In addition, The Last Samurai is another film of his that I loved despite its historical inaccuracies and bizarre lead casting. Defiance shares many of the same endemic faults that plagued those two films. I was not able to brush the faults off this time; I found them even more discordant as the film went on.

Problem number one is Daniel Craig. He does not look like an Eastern Polish Jew. He looks like he misplaced his Oberstleutnant uniform at the Wehrmacht’s cleaners. Even if you were able to accept Daniel Craig as some sort of Paul Newman style Jew who parachuted into Eastern Europe, only Helen Keller would buy him as Lev Schreiber’s brother. A mutant dancing Australian is a more believable brother for Schreiber than Craig is.

In fact, Craig and Schreiber seem to be in two different films and Schreiber is in the much better one. Schreiber seems to be in the here and now with a strong subtle performance that is the best thing in the film. Daniel Craig’s performance is as shaky as his accent. He, of course, is forced to do things like give Braveheart speeches from the back of a white horse, so the fault is hardly his alone. And saying platitudes such as “Our vengeance is to live" and "Every day of freedom is like an act of faith" while gazing at the camera with those, just give me an Oscar and I will go back to entertaining you, baby blues doesn't help his cause either.

Problem number Two is best summarized by one of my favorite ladies I don't think we really need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It is like, how many have there been, you know. We get it. It was grim. Move on. No, I am doing it because I have noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust you are guaranteed an Oscar ... That is why I am doing it. Schindler's bloody List. The Pianist. Oscars coming out of their arse.

— Kate Winslet (Winner of the 2008 Best Actress Oscar for Holocaust drama The Reader) in Extras, 2005

Defiance is clearly Oscar bait. In one scene Daniel “Moses” Craig leads his people through the reeds and swamps and away from the forest (and inexplicably away from decent cover and fortifications) until a Rabbi collapses, sputters out "I almost lost my faith but you were sent by God to save us” and then promptly dies... oy vey. It really is not that easy to make a mainstream Holocaust film, release it in December, and get no nominations* for Golden Globes or Oscars. Defiance is clearly trying too hard.

The third problem is that a third rate cast of Fiddler on the Roof somehow showed up lost in the woods. Somebody call the Jewish stereotype prison, cause there has been a mass escape. Everyone is here. The nebbish intellectual who cannot hammer a nail, the passive Jews who are unwilling to fight, the greedy Jew more interested in money than his fellow man. Good lord, it is as if Leni Reisenthal’s travelling troop of stereotypes showed up. Thank goodness, Daniel Craig is here to straighten them all out and lead them to the Promised Land. Yup blond blue eyed Daniel Craig…. Yeah the movie has issues.

*No nominations except, inexplicably, for its score; which at two hours of crying violins will test any ones nerves.


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

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