7.2/10
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248 user 201 critic

Defiance (2008)

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ON DISC
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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,763 ( 97)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tuvia Bielski
... Zus Bielski
... Asael Bielski
... Lilka Ticktin
... Shimon Haretz
... Isaac Malbin
... Ben Zion Gulkowitz
... Tamara Skidelsky
Kate Fahy ... Riva Reich
... Yitzhak Shulman
... Bella
... Peretz Shorshaty
... Viktor Panchenko
... Konstanty 'Koscik' Kozlowski
... 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:

From the director of Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desafío  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,513, 4 January 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$28,644,813, 30 April 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,155,219, 31 December 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

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

After the air raid, when the people in the camp get ready to fight off the German infantry, one of the women is shown holding a rifle. This rifle is an M1 Garand, an American rifle which was only made the standard service rifle of the US Armed Forces in 1936. Winchester also only started delivering the rifles to Europe in 1943, at least a year after the story takes place. See more »

Quotes

Zus Bielski: What is it we are good for, Viktor? Dying.
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Connections

Referenced in The Daily Show: Daniel Craig (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ikh Bin A Mame
Written by Jennie Goldstein, Morris Rund, J. Jaffee
Arranged by Aleksandr Olshanetsky (as Alexander Olshanetsky)
Performed by James Newton Howard
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Preview Screening...
13 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

James Bond and Oscar winning director Ed Zwick take on the Nazis.

Saw a preview screening of DEFIANCE last week in Woodland Hills. Daniel Craig stars as Tuvia Bielski in the true WWII story of three Jewish brothers who hid in the Belorussian forests and built a community of partisan fighters, saving over 1200 Jews by war's end.

Liev Schreiber (Zus Bielski) and Jamie Bell (Asael Bielski) star alongside Craig as his two younger brothers. Both Craig and Schreiber give powerhouse performances as the older brothers competing for leadership, and Jamie Bell, who most recently starred in the abysmal Jumper, gives a surprisingly great performance as well.

Zwick has created one of the most beautiful and thought provoking films of his career and definitely one of the most Oscar worthy movies to hit cinemas in years. War and destruction has never been so captivating and moving. There have been dozens of war movies in recent years but none have left me caring so much or feeling so attached to the characters. My eyeballs wouldn't break from the screen for the full 120 mins, and by the film's end, I wasn't ready to stop watching. I can't wait for the release (which appears to be some time this winter) in order to see it again.

It's a superb film with a nice balance of heavy hitting action and intense drama, but if that's not enough to make you want to see it, just the fact that these on screen heroes existed in real life definitely make it worth the watch.

This is a WWII movie that doesn't hide or glamorize war but shows the intense reality of what happens when people band together against overwhelming evil and survive.

A solid 8.5/10


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