Defiance

( 23 )

Overview

Inspired by a true story, director Edward Zwick's epic World War II drama Defiance tells the tale of three Jewish Eastern European brothers Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell who narrowly escape certain death at the hands of the Nazis, subsequently vowing to avenge the deaths of their loves ones by launching a desperate battle against the forces that seek to exterminate their entire race. The year is 1941, and the setting is Nazi-occupied Belarus. The Final Solution is in full effect, and the Jews of ...
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Overview

Inspired by a true story, director Edward Zwick's epic World War II drama Defiance tells the tale of three Jewish Eastern European brothers Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell who narrowly escape certain death at the hands of the Nazis, subsequently vowing to avenge the deaths of their loves ones by launching a desperate battle against the forces that seek to exterminate their entire race. The year is 1941, and the setting is Nazi-occupied Belarus. The Final Solution is in full effect, and the Jews of Eastern Europe are being slaughtered wholesale. Tuvia Craig, Zus Schreiber, and Asael Bell have miraculously managed to escape into the dense surrounding forest. Having played in these woods since childhood, the brothers have a distinct advantage over their adversaries, and soon decide that simply surviving is not enough. In order to make a difference, they must take action, but in order to take action they will need support. As whispers of their bravery take wind, others like them appear determined to lay their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. Tuvia has become the de facto leader of the group, but he's still somewhat reluctant to take on such a heavy responsibility and his brother Zus expresses concern that his idealistic plan will ultimately bring about the group's downfall. With winter setting in, everyone works to create a functioning community that will help them endure the frigid months that lie ahead, and Asael reluctantly finds himself caught in the crossfire of his older siblings' rivalry. Is it possible to keep faith alive in a time when the world seems devoid of humanity and survival becomes a way of life?
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A Holocaust film that's light on sentimentality but high on human drama, Defiance tells one of those remarkable survival stories that's so incredible it must be true. Though the poster image may indicate a film geared more toward a physical act of defiance rather than a philosophical one, anyone walking into Defiance in search of some cathartic, Nazi ass-kicking action will be sorely disappointed. It turns out co-screenwriters Clayton Frohman and Edward Zwick who also directed are more interested in using the scenario to explore man's inhumanity to man and the ways that war simultaneously brings out both the worst and the best in our unpredictable little species rather than following a group of machine-gun-toting Jews as they decimate Hitler's ranks. Defiance takes its inspiration from Nechama Tec's nonfiction book Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, which recounts the tale of three brothers who narrowly escaped a Nazi raid on their family farm, took refuge in the surrounding forest, and survived in the wilderness by setting up a small community with others who had lost their families and/or homes to the Nazi invaders. The year is 1941, and the Jews of Eastern Europe are under the threat of total extermination. Tuvia Daniel Craig, Zus Liev Schreiber, Asael Jamie Bell, and Aron Bielski George MacKay have just lost everything they ever loved, and now in order to survive they must retreat into the trees. At first they have a distinct advantage over their pursuers; they grew up in these woods and know well how to use the cover to their advantage -- though as other wanderers arrive and their ranks begin to grow, so too do their chances of being discovered by the Nazis. When the competition for leadership between Tuvia and Zus threatens to stir dissent within the ranks, Zus makes the decision to leave the group and join a brigade of Russian resistance fighters who have set up camp nearby. As winter sets in, food supplies dwindle and disease begins to spread, causing many to wonder whether they should have remained in the ghetto and taken their chances with the Nazis. When it comes to Holocaust dramas, filmmakers have a habit of focusing on the larger stories and the epic battles -- and who can blame them? After all, it was a time when the world came precariously close to falling under the command of a fascist tyrant commanding an imposing army, and seeking to wipe out an entire race. And though many film lovers immediately recall haunting images of mass graves or sweeping shots from Triumph of the Will when we think of that horrible time in history, some of the most remarkable stories from that time are also some of the smallest, as evidenced by the continued impact of The Diary of Anne Frank, or, more recently, Roman Polanski's The Pianist. In Defiance, you won't find any goose-stepping Nazis marching in formation, and the one shot of a mass grave is revealed with a sure-handed subtlety that truly makes the blood run cold. This is an intimate story of family and community, told on the kind of small scale that forces us to experience the horror of losing someone whose face we recognize and whose voice has faded forever into the wind. It's a stark, albeit inspiring drama wherein brotherly bonds both literally and figuratively are put to the true test, and the challenge faced by survivors is how to maintain their humanity while being hunted and slaughtered like animals. The value in a film like Defiance is in helping us realize what it takes to hang on to our compassion even in times of unprecedented despair, and never giving up hope -- even when logic dictates that all is lost.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929303526
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Region Code: 1
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,908

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Daniel Craig Tuvia Bielski
Liev Schreiber Zus Bielski
Jamie Bell Asael Bielski
Alexa Davalos Lilka Ticktin
Alan Corduner Shimon Haretz
Mark Feuerstein Isaac Malbin
Tomas Arana Ben Zion Gulkowitz
Jodhi May Tamara Skidelsky
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
Jody O'neill Lazar
Sam Spruell Arkady Lubczanski
Mia Wasikowska Chaya Dziencielsky
Mark Margolis Jewish Elder
Markus von Lingen German SS Scout
Rolandas Boravskis Gramov
Technical Credits
Edward Zwick Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Robert Alazraki Cinematographer
Jenny Beavan Costumes/Costume Designer
Pieter Jan Brugge Producer
Clay Frohman Screenwriter
Marshall Herskovitz Executive Producer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Alisa Katz Producer
Gilbert "Berto" Lecluyse Cinematographer
Troy Putney Producer
Steven Rosenblum Editor
Eduardo Serra Cinematographer
Gail Stevens Casting
Roland Tec Producer
Victoria Thomas Casting
Dan Weil Production Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Defiance
1. Scene 1 [4:01]
2. Scene 2 [6:13]
3. Scene 3 [6:06]
4. Scene 4 [9:29]
5. Scene 5 [9:37]
6. Scene 6 [8:45]
7. Scene 7 [7:23]
8. Scene 8 [6:42]
9. Scene 9 [7:43]
10. Scene 10 [7:12]
11. Scene 11 [7:20]
12. Scene 12 [4:27]
13. Scene 13 [2:06]
14. Scene 14 [5:38]
15. Scene 15 [4:30]
16. Scene 16 [5:40]
17. Scene 17 [7:16]
18. Scene 18 [5:00]
19. Scene 19 [8:08]
20. Scene 20 [4:06]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Defiance
   Play
   Set Up
      Audio: English 5.1 Surround
      Audio: Français
      Audio: Español
      Audio: Commentary by Director Edward Zwick
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: None
   Special Features
      Commentary by Director Edward Zwick
      Defiance: Return to the Forest
      Children of the Otriad
      Bielski Partisan Survivors
      Previews
   Scene Selection
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Defiance

    When I first heard of the movie I thought it would be boring, but when I saw it I became interested. The story of Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron Beilski is an amazing story of survival and love. The ties between family memebers being tested and put on the lines because of war and rengance.
    The loss of husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, and aunts is hard at first for the memebers of the Beilski Partisans. But then they realise that if tehy work hard enough then they can save more people than just themselves.
    Over all it is a very good movie filled with suspence and action. This is a story one shall never forget.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Best Movies of The Year!

    Based on a true story, this movie tells the courageous and heroic and extraordinary story of three brothers who save thousands of lives during WW2 by hiding in the forests. It is about survival and revenge, love and loss, overcoming untold fears and conflicts. The movie leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat, holding your breath as you experience the fire to survive. You feel the danger and the impossible odds. Due to poor marketing, few got the chance to see it. I have recommended it to many and everyone has loved it and recommended it to their friends. Daniel Craig, who plays one of the brothers, makes every woman in the audience swoon. The movie is filled with manly men and action that is spellbounding!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    'Our revenge is to live.'

    This motto serves to sum the feelings of the Bielski brothers as they escape the horrors of the Nazi extermination of Jews in 1941. Adapted from Dr. Nechama Tec's book DEFIANCE: THE BIELSKI PARTISANS by director Edward Zwick and Clayton Frohman this film is as much about family devotion as it is about extended family. It is a touching story of survival under the most impossible conditions and a story of heroism that is far too unknown among even scholars of the WW II period.

    Set in 1941 DEFIANCE introduces four brothers of the Bielski family (the parents have been victims of the Nazi Final Solution in Belorussia) - the compassionate brother Tuvia (Daniel Craig), angry and reactive brother Zus (Liev Schreiber), and the younger brothers Asael (Jamie Bell) and Aron (George McKay). In response to the war the brothers find refuge in the forest where gradually they encounter other Jews hiding from the Nazis and through thoughtful and clever means form an ever enlarging community where their extended family is fed and cared for and prepared with weapons stolen from the Nazis to defend their existence and protect them from being placed in the death camps. The film is a series of encounters with the enemy but it is also a very touching collection of stories of survival in the wilderness by such concepts as allowing men to have 'forest wives', pitting the religious teachings of a professor Haretz (Allan Corduner) and the pure intellectualism of writer Isaac Malbin (Mark Feurstein), and other interludes of interpersonal coping with tragedy.

    The cast is a fine one with Liev Schreiber the most convincing, but with a fine new role type for Daniel Craig. There is an odd mixture of accents from each of the actors - each trying to imitate the Russian sound. But in the end the viewer is left with a sense of respect and even awe at the courage and discipline of outcasts surviving a hideous nightmare, simply by staying alive. Grady Harp

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one of the best WWII movies i have ever seen

    The movie showed so much emotion that it made me feel like i was right in the midst of the characters. It was so real that it made me want to join in their cause. It is wonderful to see a movie that portrays a real life occurance and brings it up close and personal... and it will make it personal i assure you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Daniel Craig Makes a Huge Impact

    Defiance is quite a departure for Daniel Craig who is the newest James Bond. Surprisingly I find him better than the rest and the world of a secret agent a little more believeable. However this review is about a movie far from James Bond. My decision to watch it was completely dictated by Daniel Craig.
    In the early days of the German invasion of Russia, special groups of Russians loyal to the Germans began rounding up and eliminating jews. Craig and his brothers who fled to the forest are joined by others who likewise fled. They pick Craig to lead them in their quest for survival. It is a job Craig doesn't want but has no choice. The group manages to construct houses in the forest that the Germans only hunt down once. In their time in the forest they build a community that was left to flourish.
    The story was good, but there is limited action. If you like Daniel Craig you'll like this.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Looking at a lesser-known WWII event

    This was a fascinating account of an event that has not received all the attention of, say, Anne Frank or the POW camps, or the holocaust. It is a powerful story and one that I will not ruin for others who may yet to see it. I will warn that there is some realistic wartime gore and mayhem, as well as tension and tears. Even so, it is a story worth the telling and I think it was well told in this effort.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a must see historical film

    a movie you cant just see once

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great film!

    I just purchased this film and I loved it! The story is true and it's a testament to the human spirit! The performances were absolutely inspired and I think that's because they were understated. When people are experiencing this kind of desperation it's possible to portray that and just be all over the place but this wasn't at all. Purchase this DVD! You won't be disappointed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Where there is a will, there is a way

    A wonderful story of endurance. Realistically portrayed.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber are amazing!

    I don't know why I am so facinated by World War II stories but I am. And I loved this one. Great scenery, great acting and I loved the history. So many valiant people helpng form a new community. Non Jews risking their lives to help others. What a great story! I have passed it to my friends to watch. They liked it as much as me.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Touching Reminder of the Jewish Struggle

    The movie was very touching and honestly I did not realize that this was based on a true story until the end. One of the many stories that needed telling from a tragic period in our history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie

    Great story about the human spirit to live free or die free.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    awesome movie!

    this is a must see for anyone who is into WW2 era movies. very moving and exciting, i recommend it to everyone =]

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 10, 2009

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    Posted June 14, 2010

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    Posted June 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 1, 2009

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    Posted November 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews