Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Defiance the Movie

Cross posted from Right Truth

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 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.


Read the comments from Right Truth:

The movie left me feeling cold and tired.

I marvel at how the Jews have been so despised and persecuted down through history, simply because of who they are and what they believe, and yet in the end, they carry on.

Yet it should be no surprise since Almighty God predicted this, and in the end they will triumph.

Most around the world pray for Israel's destruction. Many in this country feel the same way. I pray that the United States never turns it's back on the Jews. To do so would no doubt be the beginning of the end for us.

One thing to note, the real life Bielskis were a good deal more competent and united, than the fictional ones in the movie.

They also accomplished more in fighting the Nazis in terms of carrying out raids and blowing up railroads.

I would recommend the movie, but with the cautionary note that it is a Hollywood production and heavily fictionalized.

I didn't know of this story, but the underlying message doesn't come as a surprise to me. Like the three villages that managed to survive the Nazis, Israel has been surrounded by Arabs and Islamofascists for three plus generations; they continue to survive. And kick ass.

Layla:

I'm sorry that I was not clear and I should have explained the sentence "What are Jews good for? Dying."

That statement was made by a Jew, by one of the brothers, Zus. Layla, you know the meaning of that sentence. Over the years Jews have died, and died, and died. They have been persecuted from the beginning. At time it seemed they did not defend themselves, that they were always the target. Even now that is how the Muslims see Jews. The statement was pertinent to the situation and to the movie.

Stunned? Experience anti-Semitism first hand today. No, its not like the 1930's, but it is and always has been there...even if just beneath the surface. It is there today, and it will be there tomorrow.

I rarely go to the cinema. But I might go to see this one on the big screen. I have one movie left on a free pass (gift card) given to me a while back.

We live in anti-Semitic times right now -- almost a replaying of the 1930's.

Only the intervention of God can explain the saving of any of the Jews, particularly in the story line cited in this film.

I am stunned they would put a comment like that in the movie. I was planning on seeing it, but after what you have shared I believe I will skip it. How horrible.




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