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Defiance (2008)

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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 one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Clayton Frohman (screenplay), Edward Zwick (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,838 ( 217)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Craig ... Tuvia Bielski
Liev Schreiber ... Zus Bielski
Jamie Bell ... Asael Bielski
Alexa Davalos ... Lilka Ticktin
Allan Corduner ... Shimon Haretz
Mark Feuerstein ... Isaac Malbin
Tomas Arana ... Ben Zion Gulkowitz
Jodhi May ... Tamara Skidelsky
Kate Fahy Kate Fahy ... Riva Reich
Iddo Goldberg ... Yitzhak Shulman
Iben Hjejle ... Bella
Martin Hancock ... Peretz Shorshaty
Ravil Isyanov ... Viktor Panchenko
Jacek Koman ... Konstanty 'Koscik' Kozlowski
George MacKay ... Aron Bielski
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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! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desafío See more »

Filming Locations:

Lithuania

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,513, 4 January 2009

Gross USA:

$28,644,813

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,155,219
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 houses 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 »

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

Lazar: Halt, who goes there?
Zus Bielski: We go here, Lazar. You only say 'halt, who goes there' when you don't know who goes there. We go there.
Lazar: Oh. Sorry Zus.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Kupalinka
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Through suffering and faith they defied their destiny.
25 August 2009 | by tmwestSee all my reviews

I was almost giving up seeing this film because of certain reviews which were not that good. To my amazement , the film turned up to be not good, but excellent. It shows people fighting for their lives, starving, getting to the point where many people loose faith and come close to being like animals. That is when you need a good leader which the Bielski brothers certainly were. And what good actors, Live Schreiber as Zus , what a performance, also Daniel Craig faultless as Tuvia. When you see all that killing, done by men (and women) trying to survive and also in some cases, revenge, you wonder how peaceful, good persons can change and become violent, when circumstances demand. And pray that those times will never happen to us. Spare us from being the Chosen People, says the Rabbi, overcome by anguish in a touching scene. But it is through suffering and faith that these people defy their destiny. My mother and father left Bielorus before the war. But most of their close ones did not.


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