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 »
At one point in the movie, a title indicates "October 1941" yet the trees are as green as in summer-time. At this time of the year in that climate they would be half-bare and with mostly yellow leaves. Likewise, in April trees wouldn't be fully dressed with leaves yet, but rather just start to bloom. See more »
No doubt that "Defiance" is a very inspiring movie. Set during the winter of 1941-42, just after Nazi Germany has attacked the Soviet Union, the movie follows the exploits of the 3 Bielski brothers, who watched their father be murdered by German troops and escape into the forest, only to end up becoming a rallying point and leaders for other displaced Jews. The movie portrays rivalries among the brothers themselves, rivalries within the group of Jews they're leading, difficulties in dealing with the Soviet troops, who should be their allies, as well as the hardships of dealing with hunger, cold and illness. Ultimately it leads to a pretty good climactic fight against Nazi troops. Yet, for all that I can't say it's great.
I've seen better and more inspiring Holocaust-inspired movies: think "Schindler's List," "The Grey Zone," and even the fictional "Jakob the Liar." Although the last half hour or so, leading up to the confrontation with the Germans, was quite good, I thought the movie was inconsistent up to that point. It lacked flow, and failed completely to draw me in tightly to the story. If it's at all accurate (and I'm not at all familiar with the events on which it's supposed to be based) then it certainly is a story that deserves to be told, but in truth I can't give it higher than a 6/10.
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