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Defiance


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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Edward Zwick, Clay Frohman
  • Producers: Edward Zwick, Pieter Jan Brugge
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (456 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FB55J4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Defiance" on IMDb

Special Features

- Commentary by Director Edward Zwick
- Return to the Forest: The Making of Defiance
- Children of The Otriad: The Families Speak
- Bielski Partisan Survivors

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Three ferociously committed actors fill the roles of the Bielski brothers, Jewish partisans who escaped into the forests of Eastern Europe during the Second World War. Daniel Craig (taking a break from 007 duty) is Tuvia, the leader of a group of refugees who eventually number over a thousand; Liev Schreiber is Zus, the antagonistic warrior; and Jamie Bell is Asael, a peacemaker no less devoted to the survival of the community. The three performers give life to director Edward Zwick's account of this little-known chapter of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust, which otherwise plays more like a history lesson than a full-blooded movie. The film's best achievement is its strong location work, in Lithuania--as the community makes its home in the forest, the landscape becomes an important player in the drama at hand, and the changing of the seasons is charted with bone-chilling detail. Schreiber manages to get a little wry humor into this otherwise sober enterprise, and Daniel Craig creates an unusual character: a sort of anti-Bond, a hero whose body is all too fallible and whose decision-making is sometimes hesitant or morally compromised. It's a rare hero in a World War II movie that tends to withdraw from scenes rather than stride into them, but that's what Craig does. More than likely, the movie's main achievement will be sending the curious to read the histories of the Bielski brothers and why they matter in the chronicles of the Holocaust. --Robert Horton

Stills from Defiance (Click for larger image)











Product Description

Daniel Craig (James Bond: Quantum of Solace) stars as Tuvia Bielski, an ordinary citizen turned hero, in this action-packed epic of family, honor, vengeance and salvation. Defiance is a riveting adventure that showcases the extraordinary true story of the Bielski brothers, simple farmers –outnumbered and outgunned- who turned a group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters. Tuvia, along with his unyielding brother, Zus (Liev Schreiber, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), motivate hundreds of civilians to join their ranks against the Nazi regime. Their “Inspirational story”* is a true testament to the human spirit. - David Densby, The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

This was a very good story with excellent acting.
R. S. Doyle
I just started liking Daniel Craig and I think he made this movie as good as it is.
Mack Phillips
In all, some 1,200 Jews survived the war with the Bielski brothers.
Konrei

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 218 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2009
Format: DVD
One wonders why it took so long to tell the story of the three Bielski brothers, who managed to save the lives of 1200 Jews during the Nazi Holocaust in World War II. My personal answer is that they didn't have anyone near the caliber of Daniel Craig to play the part of Tuvia.

The story opens with the Bielski brothers Tuvia (Craig) and Zus (Liev Schreiber) returning to the family farm to discover the Germans killed their parents. They find their younger brother, Asael (Jamie Bell) hiding from the slaughter in a cellar.

They decide to go to the forest to hide out. It's initially pure happenstance that they run into other refugees, but as the story progresses, they have a community from philosophers to warriors.

It's fascinating to see the community grow and the harsh realities of living under the Nazi radar. The images in this film will haunt me as strongly as the original newsreel "Let my People Go" did when I saw it in junior high.

In my opinion, "Defiance" is one of the top films of this year and I hope it earns the awards it deserves. The film is excellent for students of Jewish history, psychology, and community development. It's well worth full price in the theatre and adding to your collection.

Rebecca Kyle, February 2009
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104 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Turfseer on March 14, 2009
Format: DVD
**This review contains spoilers**

By necessity, one must focus on the survivors if one wishes to create a workable film about the Holocaust. For its only through the eyes and ears of the survivors (and their tales of suffering) that we can appreciate the enormity, the scope of what occurred to the victims of the Holocaust. Paradoxically, the tales of the survivors are nothing more than anomalies--which may give the wrong impression to the uninformed that the Holocaust was an ennobling event--that these tales of survival were somehow the rule rather than the exception.

Defiance is one such anomalous tale. Some critics have likened it to a critique of Jewish passivity--that the overwhelming majority of Jews went to their deaths without putting up a fight. And certainly that reputation is reinforced in 'Defiance' as the protagonists, Tuvia and Zus Bielski, stand out as Jewish outsiders who aren't afraid to fight the Nazis as opposed to the majority of the Jewish 'intellectuals', mostly freshly minted refugees from the ghetto, who end up as part of the Bielski 'community' within the Byelorussian forest.

But there is an excellent scene in Defiance, where Tuvia sneaks into the ghetto and confronts the head of the Jewish committee there, that demonstrates that the average Jew was not passive--simply bewildered and overwhelmed. Can you really blame the head of the Jewish committee when he doesn't believe Tuvia's tales of genocide? He says, 'yes, we've heard these stories, but who can really believe them?' Reports of atrocities reached the United States during the War but they were not really appreciated until the actual newsreel photos of truckloads of emaciated bodies were seen being bulldozed into ditches at Bergen-Belsen after the war was over.
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97 of 117 people found the following review helpful By R. Plemmons on January 18, 2009
Format: DVD
Story about Jews fleeing Nazi death squads in Belorussia who fight back against their occupiers and survive for years in forest hideouts. Very moving story and quite well-acted. The R rating is mind-boggling. I've seen PG-13 movies with more graphic violence. The profanity is sparse and never gratuitous. An excellent history lesson for teenagers, but the rating will keep many of them away (along with some adults). In the current climate of rising anti-Semitism and holocaust revisionism, this movie is unlikely to win awards, but it should.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Konrei TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 11, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is a myth, long-standing, that the Jews of Europe submitted passively to their fate at the hands of the Nazis and their willing helpers during World War II. According to this myth, Jewish resistance to the Holocaust did not exist, except perhaps in the Warsaw Ghetto, an anomalous, dramatic exception to a nightmarish reality in which Jews blandly climbed on board trains to be taken to unspeakable places to face an unspeakable fate.

Fortunately, that myth is being exploded sixty years after the fact, and DEFIANCE, the story of the Bielski Partisans, is part of that process. The Bielski Partisans were led by the brothers Tuvia, Zus, Asael and Aron, Jews from White Russia (now Belarus), who took to the woods after their village was targeted by the Einsatzkommando "B", an SS killing corps.

Many Jews, in fact, fled to the woods, and Jewish Resistance arose in many places throughout Europe. The Bielski experience in the dense Naliboki Forest is paradigmatic. The Jews of city and town, often tradesmen, small business owners, or scholar/intellectuals, were generally ill-equipped for the rough life of forest-dwellers. In this regard, the Bielskis, whose father had been a countryman, were peculiarly suited to lead. Having grown up in and around the woods and with a familiarity with tools and weapons, they became not only protectors but teachers in the art of survival.

Tuvia (Daniel Craig) became the leader, quiet, intense, sincere, and often in a quandry both moral and practical. How does one lead men, and care for women and children in conditions of deprivation? How and when does a leader lead or let himself be guided? How does a leader, as an authority, assert that authority?
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