Defiance (2008) Poster

(I) (2008)


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  • Defiance is based on a book by author Nechama Tec entitled Defiance: The Bielski Partisans. The book was adapted for the movie by director Edward Zwick and screenwriter Clayton Frohman. For further reading, there is The Bielski Brothers (2004) by Peter Duffy. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • A Hebrew word, "Malbushim", plural of "Malbesh". The term is used anachronistically. It literally means "clothes". It is something like calling people empty suits or clothes racks and is intended to mean that they are completely and utterly useless. In modern Hebrew, it means "dud", a bomb that does not explode when it is supposed to explode. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The Bielskis' native language is Yiddish, which is influenced by German, Russian and Hebrew. While growing up, the Bielskis learned Belarussian from their neighbors and also experienced various occupations by Russians, Poles and Germans. To varying degrees, they picked up other languages out of necessity. Tuvia also learned German during the Great War when the Germans occupied their land. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. Tuvia was a corporal in the Polish Army where he even served as a drill instructor. Asael and Zus had both previously served in the Soviet Army. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The Swiss Panzer 61 was used to create the mock up of the Panzer 3 German tank shown in the last battle scene. Both have six road wheels, but one give away is the sprocket—the Panzer 3 sprocket wheel was in front, the Swiss tank in the rear. The mock up also has round hatches for the driver, while the German tank had square hatches. The cannon is also clearly different. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Tuvia's parents were killed by the local Police Captian Berniski, who works in cahoots with the Germans by turning over and killing Jews. While the reason for Tuvia's parents is left unexplained, never the less Tuvia goes for revenge by killing Berniski and his two sons, (Who are also police officers) but spares his wife even after she begs Tuvia to shoot her as well. Tuvia most likely spared her because, unlike his brother Zus, Tuvia had morals and unless absolutely necessary would not shoot or harm an unarmed innocent person (especially a woman). One might argue that she could easily turn Tuvia and his brother's over to the police or the Nazis, since they were also wanted before the war started. However Tuvia judged by how hysterical she was, and how much she wanted to die as well, that he figured she would most likely commit suicide rather than want revenge. He also probably would have spared his sons if they were not police officers as well. Tuvia's morals would later be tested when the milkman who was also innocent and harmless, led the Police and Nazis to the camp of the surviving Jews and Zus tells Tuvia that he did not have the stomach to do what was necessary. In which Zus's judgement was right as he led the Germans back to kill them. The Milkman also had a family which the Germans threatened to kill if he did not deliver them milk and food. Where as Berniski's wife lost her whole family and had almost no reason to tell on Tuvia unless for revenge which was unlikely, where as the milkman did it to stop his family from being killed, and as he says, "To Survive." Edit (Coming Soon)


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