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 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 »
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 »
Merciful God, we commit our friends - Ben Zion and Krensky - to You. We have no more prayers, no more tears; we have run out of blood. Choose another people. We have paid for each of Your commandments; we have covered every stone and field with ashes. Sanctify another land. Choose another people. Teach them the deeds and the prophesies. Grant us but one more blessing: take back the gift of our holiness. Amen.
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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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