The Bielski Brothers (History Channel)
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Fascinating footage of actual partisans at work, actual on location shots of the village in the woods. This is simply a great history and a must for video of fighting oppression and tyranny.
This History Channel DVD tells the rarely heard of story of how three strong and brave hearted Jewish men, the Bielski brothers, fled the Nazis to seek refuge in the forest near their village in Belorussia. It also tells of how the Bielskis allowed and encouraged any other Jew seeking refuge the right to join them in their forest camp. The documentary flows in chronological order and it is replete with stories from actual survivors of World War II who lived in the Bielski camps, archival film footage, commentaries by children of the Bielski brothers and even some comments by the youngest Bielski brother, Aron.
The story is incredible. The Bielski brothers were tough--people all over their region in Belorussia knew of the Bielski brothers because they were THAT tough. When they initially hid in the forest, it was essentially just them. However, word travels; and so eventually more and more Jews risked their lives escaping from ghettos and trains to concentration camps to wander through the forest in the hopes of finding the Bielskis and their camp for refugee Jews. We see the Jewish group also working with Russian partisans against the Germans; and again they were very brave indeed. They did what they had to do to survive; and of course most of the stories we're told are not for very young children.
In particular, I loved the comments we get from the children of the Bielski brothers and the survivors who lived in the Jewish refugee camp run by the Bielskis. It's so meaningful and touching; indeed they're frequently so emotional that you'd have to have a heart made of stone not to be moved by it.
It may well seem like I've told you too much; but I left out much more so as not to spoil it for you.Read more ›
The documentary features archival records, and also interviews with survivors and the descendants of the Bielskis. This is a must-watch documentary as it tells the story of unsung heroes and more importantly of Jewish resistance against Nazis which was not prevalent during WW II for varying reasons. The most famous instance of Jewish resistance during WW II was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the Bielski brothers and their band of fighters deserve recognition for standing up to the Nazis, setting up a well-organized camp in the forests even with the odds stacked up against them. A miracle indeed.
The story line only touches upon the time line of the real events. I realize that this is a movie and compilation of true events and they did a great job!
The movie company could not film in the current country of Belorus. It's very strictly governed. And, remember that Jews were not well-loved in the old Belorus.
The movie crew search European locations and found exactly the same types of forests, soil types and swamps as there were in Belorus. They filmed during 12 weeks of Winter . The Bielski Otriad faced 6 months of Winters, that can be 30 or more below zero at times. Kudos to the reality of the locations.
Worth owning and re-watching from time to time, as I have on numerous occasions.
This History Channel is revealing in such a way that the movie could not be as they interview relatives and survivors of the Bielski Otriad. To see and hear one of Tuvia's sons and Asael and Chaya's daughter is incredible! [She speaks of her father's death fighting the Germans as they were informed by the Russian Army.]
Pay close attention to her expressions and body language. The book points out that a Russian officer hated Asael. Hmmmm.
Tuvia's son would be at the regular gatherings [at home] of many of the survivors through the years. He was constantly told what a great man Tuvia was. He did not understand until the much later in life and more information came out.
Tuvia was no angel, but best suited to the task before him. Read the book! The one by Nechama Tec. I have most of the others as well. Haven't read them yet.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very happy with this documentary about my great great uncles, very nice to learn how my family impacted historyPublished 1 month ago by brett
I got this to follow up on the movie Defiance. Great video on true heros against the NazisPublished 9 months ago by Michael C. Quilliams
Excellent documentary about the trials and triumphs of the Bieliski Brothers and the group of people that they helped save from the Nazis. Delivered in first person accounts.Published 10 months ago by David R. Reynolds