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 one thousand 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
The German tank, which appears near the end of the film, is a replica of a Panzer III, which was created by modifying a Swiss Panzer 61 tank. It was one of two such vehicles previously used in Enemy at the Gates (2001). See more »
The shotgun shells that Zus uses appear to be plastic hulled, from the 1960s. See more »
I've registered here just to write that I'm amazed by some reviews pointing that Zwick was inaccurate or illiterate when making his film. And it's really amusing to read that 'partisans couldn't speak Russian because Naliboki was a Polish town'.
Naliboki is a town in the very center of present Belarus. It's a point were cultures mixed. For many centuries everybody here mastered at least 3 languages, and elder Belski spoke 6 of them: Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, Belarusian, Russian, German. It's not so impossible, I may assure you:)
Actually, Russian is appropriate only in episodes when Zus Belski talks to a Soviet partisans' commander - that guy was from Moscow. I'm pretty sure, that in reality Jews talked to their neighbors in Yiddish and got answers in Polish or Belarusian. As for Belskies, they where the only Jewish family in their village, so they should master Slavic languages perfectly.
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