Defiance the Movie
"What are Jews good for? Dying." That is one statement from the movie Defiance that continues to haunt me. Hubby and I saw Defiance Friday evening in an almost full theater. At the end of the movie I was surprised to hear a small spattering of applause from the audience. If the remainder of viewers were like me, they were deep in thought and contemplation over what they had just viewed.
Defiance is a true story about the Jewish Bielski brothers who escaped the Nazi slaughter of their town and escaped into the Belarussian woods. Their plan is to hide and save themselves but soon find they are responsible for the many Jewish refugees who keep joining them. The numbers multiply as more refugees join the group. They set up three self-sustaining villages over a 3 year period in the wilderness.
I was not familiar with this event in history and find it one more incident where Jews are outnumbered, seem to have no real chance of survival, and yet they some do survive.
The film is an adaptation of Nechama Tec's Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, which is based on the true story of the Bielski partisans. Tec's book told how Polish Jews came together for common protection and to oppose the German occupation of their homeland. (Wiki)
The actors all did a fantastic job. Daniel Craig (the latest James Bond) plays Tuvia Bielski and Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate) plays his brother Zuk Bielski.
Reviews on the movie are mixed and the director seems to get negative comments like "director Edward Zwick's movie never finds a way to grab you emotionally", and:
"Defiance" had the potential to be a great World War II epic -- a true story about resistance fighters struggling to save hundreds of Jewish refugees not only from the Nazis but from the elements, loaded with dramatic tension as the lead figures battle each other and their consciences.
Instead, thanks to the polished, unimaginative direction of Edward Zwick, coloring safely in the lines, "Defiance" is not a great epic but merely a good one. (Salt Lake Tribune)
It is hard for me to see how the large number of Jews survived three years in the woods without being caught by the Nazis, how they maintained a self-contained society while losing only about 50 of their some 1,200 members ... the rough conditions, the need for food and water, the sounds and smells that could not be camouflaged, ... Only the protection of God can explain this.
I highly recommend this movie.
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