Defiance (2008) Poster

Defiance (2008)

  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 56,299 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Drama | History | Thriller | War
  • Release Date: 16 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 137 min
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Defiance (2008)


Defiance 2008tt1034303.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Defiance (2008)
  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 56,299 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Drama | History | Thriller | War
  • Release Date: 16 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 137 min
  • Filming Location: Lithuania
  • Budget: $32,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $28,644,813(USA)(30 April 2009)
  • Director: Edward Zwick
  • Stars: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell
  • Original Music By: James Newton Howard   
  • Soundtrack: Kupalinka
  • Sound Mix: SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS
  • Plot Keyword: Forest | Jewish | Fight | Partisan | Woods

Writing Credits By:

  • Clayton Frohman (screenplay) and
  • Edward Zwick (screenplay)
  • Nechama Tec (book "Defiance: the Bielski Partisans")

Known Trivia

  • The makers considered shooting in Poland and Romania before settling upon Lithuania.
  • The film was shot in a remote, wooded area in Lithuania, about a hundred miles away from the real location of the Bielski brothers camp.
  • The German tank which appears near the end of the film is a replica of a Panzer III which was created by modifying a Swiss Panzer 61 tank. It was one of two such vehicles previously used in Enemy at the Gates.
  • Extras were brought in and asked to strip naked for the scene where Aron stumbles upon the mass grave at the beginning of the movie.
  • This film’s opening prologue states: “1941. Germany occupies Belorussia now called Belarus. SS death squads and local police round up Jews. Within weeks 50,000 are murdered. 1,000,000 more await deportation and death.”
  • Some of the internal walls of the living museum’s had to be painted with a matt-gloss covering to protect the walls from damage from fake blood.
  • The pistol Daniel Craig has in this film is a real Russian made pistol and dates back to World War One, which was found in an armory in England.
  • The village in the opening sequence is actually a living-museum in Lithuania created by the Russians.
  • The location for the birch woods in the film was found using Google Earth.
  • The film was kick-started some year’s earlier when Edward Zwick was given Zus Bielski’s (1912 – 1995) obituary to read from the ‘The New York Times’.

Goofs: Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The movie talks about Israel several times, but even though the modern nation of Israel wasn't officially founded until 1948, the Jews have always referred to themselves collectively as Israel in reference to the ancient Israelite kingdom and their ancestry.

Plot: Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants. Full summary »  »

Story: On the run and hiding in the deep forests of the then German occupied Poland and Belorussia (World War II), the four Bielski brothers find the impossible task of foraging for food and weapons for their survival. They live, not only with the fear of discovery, contending with neighboring Soviet partisans and knowing whom to trust but also take the responsibility of looking after a large mass of fleeing Polish Jews from the German war machine. Women, men, children, the elderly and the young alike are all hiding in makeshift homes in the dark, cold and unforgiving forests in the darkest times of German occupied Eastern Europe.Written by Cinema_Fan  


Synopsis: The movie starts off with archive black-and-white footage of the Nazi’s atrocities on the Jews across Europe. The focus shifts to West Belarus, where Nazi SS soldiers, under the command of Bernicki, the Belarussian Police Captain, are busy "sanitizing" a village, killing half the people and abducting the rest. Zus Bielski (Liev Schreiber) and his brother, Asael (Jamie Bell), watch helplessly from the forest. Once the Germans have left, they run to the village and are devastated to find their father dead. They go to their house and find their youngest brother, Aron (George MacKay), cowering under the floorboards in the closet. They take him with them to the forest.

In the Lipiczanska Forest, Zus tells a weeping Asael to get a hold of himself. As they sleep, their eldest brother, Tuvia Bielski (Daniel Craig), walks up to them and wakes them up. He first admonishes Asael for not being alert, then embraces him and Aron emotionally. Zus and Tuvia have a rather curt reunion. As they walk into the forest, Zus tells Tuvia that his wife and child are hiding in a village. At night, they discuss their options. The police are after them, however they are safe in the woods. They talk about Bernicki. A friend, Koscik has a gun which they can borrow. Next morning, Aron stumbles across some other Jewish refugees in the forest. He brings them back to his brothers. One of them is a young child, mortally wounded. Unfortunately, they can’t save her. As her parents grieve, Zus tells Tuvia that they can’t support these people. Tuvia says he’ll ask Koscik for food and his pistol.

In the nearby village, Konstanty ‘Koscik’ Kozlowski, their friend and a secret Jew-sympathizer, lets Tuvia inside and gives him food, drink and his pistol, with only 4 bullets. Seeing a police car coming towards the house, Koscik hides Tuvia in the barn, along with some other Jews. It’s Bernicki and his sons, who Koscik welcomes warmly. Bernicki talks about his Jew-hunting exploits. Bernicki talks about having killed the Bielskis’ father and is now after the sons. He tells Koscik to keep his eyes open and leaves. After they’re gone, Koscik gives Tuvia food and drink and asks him to take the Jews from his barn. Tuvia confirms that Bernicki and his sons were responsible for his parent’s deaths. He then takes the other Jews and goes into the forest.

As they walk into the forest, one of the Jews, an elderly man named Shamon Haretz, Tuvia’s old school-teacher, talks to him about his experiences. Tuvia brushes him off. At the campsite, the food is being passed around, with each person taking a small morsel so the others can have some. Zus is upset that Tuvia brought more mouths to feed. Tuvia tells him that it was Bernicki who killed their parents. That night, he goes to Bernicki’s house, where he is having dinner with his wife and two sons. Tuvia bursts inside and holds them at gunpoint. He asks them if he knows who he is and why he’s there. Terrified, Bernicki says he did as ordered. Tuvia orders him to his knees. Bernicki’s sons jump up to their father’s aid, but Tuvia shoots them dead. He then shoots Bernicki dead. Bernicki’s hysterical wife pleads with Tuvia to kill her as well. Leaving her alive and grief-stricken, he leaves.

The next morning, Tuvia tells Zus he killed Bernicki and his sons. They decide to move deeper into the woods. Tuvia brings over more Jews, much to Zus’ displeasure. One of them is Isaac Malbin (Mark Feuerstein). The refugees start building makeshift houses in the woods. After almost hitting Zus with a log, Isaac confesses that he’s an intellectual, not a carpenter. A refugee introduces Tuvia to his "forest wife". Tuvia congratulates them, a bit unsurely. Just then, two men burst into the scene, one of them holding a rifle, while the other demands food. Zus gets confrontational, despite being unarmed. He dares the man to shoot him, a Jew. When the two hear that they are Jews, they say they’re Peretz and Jacov, from Zus’ village. Almost all the people in the village are dead, including Zus’ wife and child. Zus is devastated and grieves for his wife and child. He starts to hit his head against a tree trunk, but Tuvia grabs him and holds him, while he cries.

Later, Peretz asks which Otriad (armed brigade) they are. Asael replies the "Bielski Otriad". Peretz tells them that there is a Russian Otriad, which sabotages railways and kills Germans. Zus tells them, if they want to kill Germans, to follow him. Tuvia tries to dissuade him, but he’s resolute. Reluctantly, Tuvia goes with the small group. They attack a town that supported the Nazis, killing a few people. They then attack a German motorcyclist, killing him and stripping him of his weapons. A German jeep comes down the road. The Bielskis hide along the road and wait. The jeep stops nearby seeing the fallen motorcycle. One of the Germans goes to the side of the road to relieve himself and does so right on Zus. Enraged, Zus stabs him to death, while the others attack the jeep. One tries to run, but gets gunned down by Asael. Zus picks up the machine gun of the guy he killed and unloads it on the jeep’s occupants, killing them all. As they scour the jeep for weapons and food, a German truck comes down the road. Jacov is shot dead, while Peretz is injured. Asael takes to his heels, chased by German soldiers, while Zus and Tuvia take cover, watching helplessly as their brother sprints away, dodging German fire. They manage to shoot out the truck’s spotlight, but find themselves outgunned. They have no choice but to retreat, leaving Asael to his fate.

At the camp, Tuvia is furious at Zus. Food is dangerously low. Peretz is dead from his injuries. Shamon is upset that they didn’t bring back any food. He quotes from the Talmud, saying that if they save a life, they must take responsibility for it. Suddenly, an armed man walks into the camp. Zus is irate that the man keeping watch didn’t see him. He punches the man and says he should be killed, but Tuvia will have none of it. He’s still angry at Zus and holds him responsible for Asael’s fate. The man, Ben Zion Gulkowitz, tells Tuvia that he’s from a village, where everyone was murdered, but he managed to escape. People start to cry and argue about their predicament. Tuvia yells out that they all have to live together or they’ll all go against each other. He tells Zus that they can’t go killing Germans and can’t afford to lose more people. They will go to villages for food and take only what is offered to them. Their revenge is to live. They may be hunted like animals, but they won’t become animals. If they should die, then it’ll be as human beings.

Tuvia, Zus and Ben Zion go to Koscik’s house and find his body hanging from his barn. He’s been beaten badly and has a sign "Jew Lover" hung around his neck. They dig a grave for him. Koscik’s wife shows them a secret cellar under a haystack. They find Asael hiding there. They have a happy reunion. They find rifles hidden in the barn. They also find two Jewish ladies in the cellar. The older one is Bella and the younger one is Chaya. Zus is a bit taken in by Bella. At the campsite, Shamon and Isaac engage in an intellectual debate, as they work. Tuvia notices that Asael’s shy interest in Chaya and encourages him to talk to her. He tells Asael to accompany Zus on the next expedition and to ensure that no one is killed.

Zus, Asael and Ben Zion waylay a milkman, Kissely, on the road. They ask for his milk. He pleads that the Germans will kill him if he doesn’t meet his quota. They only take half of his milk, but Zus also takes the man’s coat. At the campsite, they are welcomed with glee. One of the men, Arkady Lubczanski, takes an interest in Chaya. He tries to force her to become his forest wife, but she declines politely. Ben Zion tells Tuvia that new refugees have arrived from Novogroduk. Bad news is, Tuvia’s wife is dead. Though saddened, Tuvia maintains his composure. Bella goes to Zus and asks if she can be his forest wife, which he willingly accepts.

Aron sees some Belarussian policemen and German soldiers, being led to the campsite by Kissely. He runs back to the camp to report. Tuvia orders that the people evacuate the camp immediately, while a few people remain behind to stave off the attackers. Once the refugees are relatively safe, Tuvia and the fighters take cover behind trees, overlooking a small rivulet. When the policemen and soldiers come to the rivulet, the partisans fire at them, injuring a few. The soldiers and Kissely take cover behind trees as well. They yell at each other. The leader of the soldiers tells them to hand over the Bielskis and the rest can go free. Tuvia asks the leader why he, a Belarussian, works for the Germans. Kissely yells out to survive, but Zus shoots him in the arm. The partisans shoot at the attackers, forcing them to retreat. When they’re gone, Zus angrily tells Tuvia that he should have killed the milkman before and that it’s his fault that they now have to relocate. The refugees walk past a field into another section of the woods.

As Tuvia and Zus survey the woods, they are confronted by a group of Russian partisans. Tuvia tells them that they’re from the Bielski Otriad and they want to see their commander. They are taken to the Russian partisans’ camp, where they meet Viktor Panchenko, leader of the October Otriad. Panchenko accuses them of stealing from villages loyal to them. Tuvia responds that when they (October Otriad) take food, it is support, but when the Bielskis do it, it is stealing. He tells Panchenko that they fight a common enemy. Though he doesn’t believe Jews can fight, Panchenko tells them to send him their best fighters.

Back at the new campsite, the refugees are doing their best to set up a camp, before winter sets in. A new bunch of refugees is being escorted inside. One of them, Yitzchak Shulman, tells Tuvia that he is from the Baranovichi ghetto. The Germans will kill everyone if anyone is found missing. Chaya’s parents are also inside the ghetto. She pleads with Asael to do something to get them out. Tuvia decides to go to the ghetto to save all the Jews inside from imminent massacre. Zus is skeptical. They argue for a while, culminating in a fistfight, which ends with Tuvia just about restraining himself from bashing Zus’ head in with a rock. Tuvia walks away. Zus takes Ben Zion and some other fighters to the Russian partisan camp. Asael stays behind.

Tuvia and Asael sneak into the Baranovichi ghetto and talk to the elders there, regarding their escape. The elders are incredulous that the Germans would kill all of them just like that. Tuvia promises to keep all of them safe in the woods. One by one, all the people in the ghetto agree to go to the woods, including Lilka Ticktin (Alexa Davalos). That night, under cover of darkness, Tuvia and Asael get the Jews out of the ghetto. When they reach the camp, they are asked to surrender their valuables, which can be traded for food and weapons. Chaya has a happy reunion with her parents. Isaac and Shamon ask about people who know useful trades, like carpentry. Tuvia gets on his horse and gives a speech. He says that everyone must work, women will learn to fight alongside men, pregnancies are forbidden. They will rebuild their lives.

Bella encourages Asael to propose to Chaya. He does so awkwardly and she readily accepts. They are married just as winter starts. As this happens, the October Otriad, assisted by Zus and his fighters, attacks a German convoy, killing everyone on board. Panchenko is impressed by Zus’ ruthlessness.

Soon, winter sets in. Food supplies are low and people are cold and starving. Tuvia, left with no other choice, shoots his horse dead, so the people can eat. At suppertime, the lines get unruly as horse meat (though considered non-kosher) is served. Tuvia enters a cabin to warm himself and sees Lilka inside. She’s on her way out for her first food mission. He gives her his coat and his pistol, just in case. Arkady comes in and pokes fun at Tuvia. A woman informs Tuvia about sickness that is spreading through the colony. Lilka, having got a sack of food, encounters a wolf on the way back. It attacks her, but she manages to kill it. She takes the wolf and the sack back to the camp. At the camp, the sickness is found to be typhus. The Russian partisans have ampicillin, but won’t part with it.

Tuvia goes to the Russian partisan camp to ask for ampicillin. Panchenko is strategising with Zus about a transmitter at Police HQ, which has caused them much trouble. That transmitter has to be silenced. Tuvia comes to Panchenko and asks for ampicillin. Panchenko refuses, but Tuvia insists. Zus calms the situation down, by suggesting they hit a police station and take out the transmitter there. Outside the police station, Zus sees that Tuvia’s also been affected by typhus. He tells him to wait in the car, while he, Ben Zion and another man attack the station. The attack is a success – the transmitter is destroyed and the ampicillin is stolen – but Ben Zion and the other man die, while Zus is wounded. He and Tuvia drive back. Tuvia asks Zus to come back to the camp, but Zus declines.

As the funerals for Ben Zion and the other man are underway, Tuvia sits in his cabin, coughing uncontrollably. The next day, Arkady demands more food from Chaya, during lunchtime. He tries to take more, but Asael pushes him away. They draw their knives and they are restrained by the others. Tuvia breaks it up and tells them, as punishment, Arkady and Asael get only half rations. He walks away, coughing. Asael confronts him regarding rumours about him being power-hungry and corrupt, and that he is no longer fit to lead them. The next day, during lunchtime, as Tuvia sits coughing badly in his cabin, Arkady has pretty much taken over. He and his cronies have beaten up Asael and have taken the lion’s share of food rations for themselves. Tuvia, hearing all this, steels himself and gets up. He walks outside and sees Arkady and his cronies sitting at a table, being served by Chaya. Tuvia sees Asael’s bruised face and confronts Arkady. Arkady tells him it’s the new policy that fighters get better food. Tuvia is no longer the leader. As Arkady laughs derisively, Tuvia shoots him dead. He orders the cronies to obey him. Anyone who wants to leave can do so. No one argues and he’s the leader again.

He gets better under Lilka’s care. Soon, the sun comes out and it’s springtime. The ice melts and spirits are lifted considerably. One of the women, Tamara, reveals to Lilka that she’s pregnant and the baby could come anytime soon. She is terrified of what Tuvia would do when he finds out. Lilka comforts her, saying he’ll understand. Tamara tells her that she was raped by a German soldier. When the baby is born, Tuvia hears the cries and finds it in a cabin with Lilka and other women. He is angry and confronts Lilka about it. He wants Tamara and the father to leave, but Lilka tells him Tamara was raped. She reminds him of his own words – to not become animals. He agrees. Happily, she kisses him. They share a passionate kiss.

Aron sees a German convoy passing by. Back at the camp, the lone surviving soldier of a partisan raid is dragged into camp. The terrified German is paraded before the partisans. They’ve also found a pouch containing information about an attack on the camp in two days. The German pleads for his life, saying he has a wife and kids. That just enrages the partisans even more, as they’ve lost everything. They proceed to beat the German to death. While Shamon and Isaac try to stop them, Tuvia watches indifferently.

The next day, Panchenko tells Zus that they’re leaving the forest as the Germans are going to attack. The Bielski partisans will be sacrificed to the Russian partisans can escape. Zus is upset and tries to protest, but Panchenko says that if he tries to desert, he’ll be shot.

At the Bielski camp, they notice a German scout plane overhead. Tuvia orders everyone to evacuate the camp. Just as the people start to evacuate the camp, a couple of Luftwaffe planes fly towards them. Tuvia yells for everyone to take cover. The planes dive-bomb the camp, killing many. A bomb hits close to Tuvia, leaving him dazed and blinded for a while. Asael orders the fighters to arms, as German soldiers are expected to attack soon. The rest of the people are to evacuate. Tuvia is to lead the refugees away, while Asael stays back to fight. The Germans attack, killing all the fighters, except Asael, who manages to escape barely. However, they managed to stave off the Germans long enough for the refugees to make good their escape.

Tuvia and the refugees come up on a large marshland. Unsure of whether Asael is alive or not, Tuvia finds himself unable to decide whether to stay or go. Asael runs up and tells them that the troops are behind them. They should cross the marsh if they are to survive. Gathering rope and everyone’s belt, they make a long enough chain, so they can go through the marsh. They start to wade through the muddy water warily. Soon, they make it to the other side of the woods. Shamon, however, is in bad shape. He thanks Tuvia for having saved them and thanks God. He dies shortly after.

Suddenly, they find themselves being attacked by a tank and a company of German troops. In the ensuing battle, a number of partisans are killed. Tuvia takes Isaac and they flank around to the rear of the attackers. They kill a machine gun squad and commandeer the machine gun, opening fire on the troops, killing many. However, they are discovered and the tank starts to slowly turn its turret towards them, as the troops fire at them. As the turret stops, they abandon the machine gun and take cover behind the trees, as the Germans fire incessantly at them. Isaac grabs hold of a potato-masher grenade, arms it, looks one last time at Tuvia and runs towards the tank. However, he doesn’t get more than twenty yards, as he’s shot dead by the troops. The grenade blows up near him. Just as things look really bad for Tuvia, the Germans are ambushed from behind by Zus’ men. After killing many Germans, Zus jumps on the tank, killing the gunner and throwing in a grenade. The tank implodes. The partisans complete cleaning up the remaining Germans. Tuvia comes out of cover and orders everyone into the forest. They strip the dead of their weapons. Zus and Bella reunite. Tuvia and Zus, after a long wordless encounter, embrace each other emotionally, as Asael watches with a smile. They all walk into the woods.

We are informed that they lived in the forest for two years. Their number grew to 1200. Asael died in action and never saw his and Chaya’s child. Zus and Tuvia emigrated to New York and started a trucking business. Tuvia and Lilka remained married for the rest of their lives. The Bielskis never sought recognition for their actions.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Pieter Jan Brugge known as producer
  • Clayton Frohman known as co-producer
  • Marshall Herskovitz known as executive producer
  • Alisa Katz known as associate producer (as Alisa S. Katz)
  • Troy Putney known as associate producer
  • Roland Tec known as co-producer
  • Gary Tuck known as line producer: Lithuania
  • Edward Zwick known as producer
  • Alex Boden known as producer: pick-ups (uncredited)
  • Andrew Litvin known as line producer: pick-ups (uncredited)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Daniel Craig known as Tuvia Bielski
  • Liev Schreiber known as Zus Bielski
  • Jamie Bell known as Asael Bielski
  • Alexa Davalos known as Lilka Ticktin
  • Allan Corduner known as Shimon Haretz
  • Mark Feuerstein known as Isaac Malbin
  • Tomas Arana known as Ben Zion Gulkowitz
  • Jodhi May known as Tamara Skidelsky
  • Kate Fahy known as Riva Reich
  • Iddo Goldberg known as Yitzhak Shulman
  • Iben Hjejle known as Bella
  • Martin Hancock known as Peretz Shorshaty
  • Ravil Isyanov known as Viktor Panchenko
  • Jacek Koman known as Konstanty 'Koscik' Kozlowski
  • George MacKay known as Aron Bielski
  • Jonjo O'Neill known as Lazar
  • Sam Spruell known as Arkady Lubczanski
  • Mia Wasikowska known as Chaya Dziencielsky
  • Mark Margolis known as Jewish Elder
  • Markus von Lingen known as German SS Scout
  • Rolandas Boravskis known as Gramov
  • Algirdas Dainavicius known as Motl Lubczanski
  • Aurelija Prashuntaite known as Rachel (as Aurelija Prasmuntaite)
  • Vidas Petkevicius known as Avram Rubinski
  • Ina Frismanaite known as Avram's Daughter
  • Ana Goldberg known as Lila
  • Rimante Valiukaite known as Miriam
  • Leonardas Pobedonoscevas known as Jacov
  • Kristina Bertasiute known as Dark Haired Beauty
  • Kristina Skokova known as Red Haired Woman
  • Remigijus Bilinskas known as Pinchas Zuckerman
  • Rimgaudas Karvelis known as Oppenheim
  • Janina Matiekonyte known as Well-Dressed Woman (as Janina Matekonyte)
  • Leonas Ciunis known as Accountant
  • Aleksandr Zila known as Chaya's Father
  • Iveta Nadzeikiene known as Chaya's Mother
  • Clayton Frohman known as Isadore Skidelsky
  • Marc Levy known as Yechael Efrati
  • Zoe Rosenblum known as Sarah Oppenheim
  • Sakalas Uzdavinys known as Lova Volkin
  • Saulius Janaviciu known as Israel Kotler (as Saulius Janavicius)
  • Leonid Kotik known as Krensky (as Leonidas Kotikas)
  • Dalia Smalskiene known as Rosa
  • Tadas Kavaliauskas known as Levine
  • Matas Cancingeris known as Little Boy
  • Diana Aneviciute known as Koscik's Wife (as Diana Aneviciute-Valiusaitiene)
  • Sigitas Rackys known as Belarussian Police Captain
  • Vaidas Kublinskas known as Police Captain's Son #1 (as Vaidas Kublinkas)
  • Valentin Novopolskij known as Police Captain's Son #2
  • Dalia Micheleviciute known as Police Captain's Wife
  • Ervinas Peteraitis known as Kissely the Milkman (as Ervinas Martynas Peteraitis)
  • Dmitrij Denisiuk known as Policeman
  • Antanas Surna known as Orthodox Rabbi
  • Dalius Mertinas known as Belarussian Police Officer #1
  • Vaidotas Martinaitis known as Belarussian Police Officer #2
  • Aldona Bendoriute known as Jewish Mother Separated From Child #1
  • Darius Gumauskas known as Jewish Father Being Beaten #1
  • Irmantas Bacelis known as Jewish Father Being Beaten #2
  • Edita Uzaite known as Jewish Mother Separated From Child #2
  • Jordan Bielsky known as Villager Getting Shot
  • Gediminas Girdvainis known as Screaming Man
  • Stanislav Adamickij known as German Captain
  • Klemens Becker known as SS Captain
  • Jonas Tamulevigius known as German Courier (as Jonas Tamulevicius)
  • Jaroslav Psenicka known as German Officer in Car
  • Jolanta Dapkunaite known as Woman in Car
  • Miroslav Lhotka known as German Officer
  • Giacomo Strasser known as German Private
  • Mac Steinmeier known as German Sergeant
  • Dmitri Slepovitch known as Musician (as Dmitrti Slepovitch)
  • Arkadij Gotesman known as Musician
  • Borisas Kirzeneris known as Musician
  • Raimondas Sviackevicius known as Musician
  • Adolf Hitler known as Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
  • Zitto Kazann known as (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Stephen Bettles known as prosthetic makeup artist (as Stevie Bettles)
  • Zaneta Jasiuniene known as local makeup artist
  • Jennifer Latour known as prosthetic special effects
  • Lizzie Lawson known as key hair stylist (as Lizzi Lawson Zeiss)
  • Kristie Matthiae known as hair stylist
  • Kristie Matthiae known as makeup artist
  • Egle Mikalauskaite known as local crowd hair supervisor
  • Egle Mikalauskaite known as local crowd makeup supervisor
  • Trefor Proud known as hair designer
  • Trefor Proud known as makeup designer
  • Vida Vitkute known as local makeup artist
  • Felicity Wright known as makeup artist
  • J.D. Bowers known as old age prosthetics sculptor: W.M. Creations Inc. (uncredited)
  • J.D. Bowers known as prosthetics lab technician: W.M. Creations Inc. (uncredited)
  • Ryan McDowell known as silicone prosthetics technician (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Jurgis Asvydis known as set dresser
  • Jacques Aucomte known as production buyer
  • Ksenija Bessonova known as set dressing assistant
  • Ksenija Bessonova known as set dressing translator
  • Yann Biquand known as draftsman
  • William Boyes known as stand-by props
  • Osvaldas Brucas known as local stand-by greens: second unit
  • Arunas Buivydavicius known as set dresser
  • Jana Chovancova known as art department coordinator (as Jana Evans)
  • Jérome Clavier known as finisher (as Jerome Clavier)
  • Evaldas Dabasinskas known as swing gang: second unit
  • Gregoire Daure known as property master
  • Raimondas Dicius known as prop maker
  • Kamilis Dzikevicius known as local stand-by greens
  • Gilles Geraud known as assistant set decorator
  • Gediminas Gerulis known as chargehand set dresser
  • Shira Hockman known as junior art director
  • Ainis Janauskas known as art director trainee
  • Tomas Katinas known as storeman
  • Modesta Klimaviciute known as hod greens
  • Arturas Kmitas known as assistant stand-by props
  • Renuaras Krivelis known as construction manager
  • Konstantinas Laurynas known as dressing props
  • Birute Markelyte known as greens supervisor: Rumsiskes
  • Pavel Minakov known as stand-by carpenter
  • Alan Munro known as visual consultant
  • Milda Norbontaite known as art department production assistant
  • Marguerite Ots known as hod painter
  • Saule Peciulyte known as graphic designer
  • Lionel Pouchard known as illustrator
  • Justinas Rola known as junior propmaker
  • Justinas Rola known as junior set dresser
  • Martynas Rola known as set dresser
  • Darius Sargautas known as local stand-by greens
  • Elaine Seidel known as charge scenic
  • Zydre Siciunaite known as prop maker
  • Benediktas Slukinas known as local stand-by greens
  • Ceslovas Snezko known as swing gang: second unit (as Ceslav Snezko)
  • Sarune Tautvaisaite known as assistant stand-by props
  • James Lee Thorne known as stand-by greens (as James Thorne 'Pip')
  • Gabriele Vaiciunaite known as junior assistant art director
  • Simona Vaitkute known as assistant property master
  • Asta Vildziunaite known as assistant stand-by props
  • Domas Vosylius known as junior production buyer
  • Anastasija Zilionyte known as junior assistant art director
  • Thomas Jones known as foam technician (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Paramount Vantage (presents)
  • Grosvenor Park Productions (as Grosvenor Park)
  • Bedford Falls Company, The (as Bedford Falls)
  • Defiance Productions (copyright owner)
  • Pistachio Pictures (uncredited)

Other Companies:

  • Abbey Road Studios  score recording facility
  • Arion Facilities  dailies telecine
  • Baltic Film Services  production services: Lithuania
  • Bernstein, Fox, Whitman, Goldman & Sloan  additional professional services
  • Bundesfilmarchiv  archival film material courtesy of
  • Dakota Music Services  music preparation
  • De Wolfe Music Library  archival film material courtesy of (as DeWolfe Music Library)
  • Dennis Davidson & Associates Public Releations (DDA)  international pr consultant (as DDA Public Relations)
  • EFilm  digital intermediate
  • Entertainment Clearances  rights and clearances
  • Film Finances  completion bond services
  • Grosvenor Park Productions  funding
  • Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman  legal services
  • Helicopter Film Services  aerial filming services provided by
  • ID Public Relations  domestic pr consultant
  • James Newton Howard Studios  score mixing facility
  • Klass Security and Investigations  anti-piracy film security (uncredited)
  • Kona Cutting  negative pull and data management
  • Loeb & Loeb  legal services (as Loeb & Loeb)
  • Modern VideoFilm  post-production services
  • Moving Target  title design
  • Packair Airfreight  international logistics
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment provided by
  • Reed Smith Richards Butler  legal services (as Reed, Smith, Richard, Butler)
  • Sony BMG Music Entertainment  participation courtesy of: Joshua Bell
  • Sony Classical  soundtrack
  • Soundelux Design Music Group (DMG)  sound editing and design (as Soundelux)
  • Soundelux  sound editing
  • Tenon Group  additional professional services
  • Transit Film-Gesellschaft  archival film material courtesy of (as Transit Film GmbH)
  • Zenith Trust Company  additional professional services
  • Zet Catering  site catering


  • Constantin Film Verleih (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Constantin-Filmverleih (2009) (Austria) (theatrical)
  • Imagem Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (theatrical)
  • Metropolitan Filmexport (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Mirovision (2008) (South Korea) (theatrical)
  • Momentum Pictures (2008) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • Momentum Pictures (2008) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Monolith Plus (2009) (Poland) (theatrical)
  • Paramount Vantage (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2009) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2009) (Luxembourg) (theatrical)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Bontonfilm (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media) (subtitled)
  • David Distribucion (2009) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Film1 (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Flashstar (2009) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Ledafilms (2009) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD)
  • Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment Finland (2009) (Finland) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • RCV Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • RCV Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • RTL Entertainment (2011) (Netherlands) (TV) (RTL7)
  • SP Films (2009) (Argentina) (all media)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Norway) (all media)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Iceland) (all media)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (all media)
  • Shaw Organisation (2009) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Tatrafilm (2009) (Slovakia) (all media)
  • Toho-Towa (2009) (Japan) (all media)
  • Village Films (2009) (Greece) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Pacific Title and Art Studio (digital opticals)
  • Flash Film Works (visual effects)
  • VCE (swamp matte)
  • Illusion Arts (mass grave matte)

Visual Effects by:

  • Jessica Allen known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • Alfred Berger known as compositor: Flash Film Works
  • Toma Bowen known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • Anthony Davis known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • Chris Dawson known as cg animator: Flash Film Works
  • Tim Donahue known as matte painter: Flash Film Works
  • Syd Dutton known as visual effects: Illusion Arts, mass grave matte (as Sid Dutton)
  • Brian Fire known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • David Fogg known as compositor: Flash Film Works
  • Collin Fowler known as visual effects coordinator: Illusion Arts, mass grave matte
  • Andrea Goodson known as visual effects coordinator: Flash Film Works
  • Marky Kang known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • Pavelas Kovaliovas known as visual effects assistant: Lithuania, Flash Film Works
  • Lincoln Kupchak known as visual effects editor: Flash Film Works
  • Peter Kuran known as visual effects: VCE, swamp matte
  • Jonathan Marquiss known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • John P. Mesa known as visual effects co-supervisor: Flash Film Works
  • William Mesa known as visual effects supervisor
  • Don Myers known as cg animator: Flash Film Works (as Don J. Myers)
  • Marilyn Nave known as visual effects administrator: VCE, swamp matte
  • Jeremy Nelson known as compositor: Flash Film Works (as Jeremy A. Nelson)
  • Dan Novy known as visual effects technical supervisor: Flash Film Works
  • Leon Nowlin known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • Terry Shigemitsu known as 3D animator: VCE, swamp matte
  • Ken Stranahan known as compositor: Flash Film Works
  • Catherine Sudolcan known as visual effects producer: Illusion Arts, mass grave matte
  • Alicia Suggs known as paint/roto supervisor: Flash Film Works
  • Bill Taylor known as visual effects: Illusion Arts, mass grave matte
  • Jon Terada known as digital supervisor: VCE, swamp matte
  • Andrew Tucker known as 3D artist: Illusion Artys, mass grave matte
  • Emily Wallin known as visual effects producer: Flash Film Works
  • Jacqueline Zietlow known as visual effects administrator: VCE, swamp matte
  • Cloe Zimmerman known as paint & roto artist: Flash Film Works
  • George Antonopoulos known as visual effects assistant: Flash Film Works (uncredited)
  • Patrick Clancey known as digital opticals (uncredited)
  • Miles DeLong known as visual effects coordinator: Flash Film Works (uncredited)
  • Mark Freund known as visual effects supervisor: Pacific Title (uncredited)
  • Anthony Greco known as visual effects assistant: Flash Film Works (uncredited)
  • Thomas Mathai known as data manager (uncredited)
  • Dan Smith known as visual effects coordinator: pre-production, Flash Film Works (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 31 December 2008 (limited)
  • South Korea 8 January 2009
  • Ireland 9 January 2009
  • Spain 9 January 2009
  • UK 9 January 2009
  • France 14 January 2009
  • Thailand 15 January 2009
  • Canada 16 January 2009
  • Lithuania 16 January 2009
  • USA 16 January 2009
  • Portugal 22 January 2009
  • Italy 23 January 2009
  • Poland 23 January 2009
  • Israel 5 February 2009
  • Singapore 5 February 2009
  • Indonesia 10 February 2009
  • Greece 12 February 2009
  • Japan 14 February 2009
  • Finland 20 February 2009
  • Iceland 20 February 2009
  • Latvia 20 February 2009
  • Slovakia 26 February 2009
  • Switzerland 26 February 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Estonia 27 February 2009
  • Belgium 4 March 2009
  • Croatia 19 March 2009
  • Netherlands 19 March 2009
  • South Africa 20 March 2009
  • Czech Republic 30 March 2009 (Febio Film Festival)
  • United Arab Emirates 2 April 2009
  • Bulgaria 3 April 2009
  • Norway 3 April 2009
  • Czech Republic 16 April 2009
  • Germany 23 April 2009
  • Austria 24 April 2009
  • Sweden 24 April 2009
  • Australia 30 April 2009
  • New Zealand 30 April 2009
  • Brazil 1 May 2009 (Rio de Janeiro) (premiere)
  • Brazil 8 May 2009
  • Lebanon 14 May 2009
  • Denmark 20 May 2009 (limited)
  • Argentina 6 August 2009
  • Hungary 24 August 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Mexico 28 August 2009
  • Egypt 21 October 2009
  • Peru 3 December 2009
  • Japan 29 March 2010 (Takasaki Film Festival)
  • Panama 2 April 2010

MPAA: Rated R for violence and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , , .


  1. skerrqc from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    James Bond and Oscar winning director Ed Zwick take on the Nazis.

    Saw a preview screening of DEFIANCE last week in Woodland Hills. DanielCraig stars as Tuvia Bielski in the true WWII story of three Jewishbrothers who hid in the Belorussian forests and built a community ofpartisan fighters, saving over 1200 Jews by war's end.

    Liev Schreiber (Zus Bielski) and Jamie Bell (Asael Bielski) staralongside Craig as his two younger brothers. Both Craig and Schreibergive powerhouse performances as the older brothers competing forleadership, and Jamie Bell, who most recently starred in the abysmalJumper, gives a surprisingly great performance as well.

    Zwick has created one of the most beautiful and thought provoking filmsof his career and definitely one of the most Oscar worthy movies to hitcinemas in years. War and destruction has never been so captivating andmoving. There have been dozens of war movies in recent years but nonehave left me caring so much or feeling so attached to the characters.My eyeballs wouldn't break from the screen for the full 120 mins, andby the film's end, I wasn't ready to stop watching. I can't wait forthe release (which appears to be some time this winter) in order to seeit again.

    It's a superb film with a nice balance of heavy hitting action andintense drama, but if that's not enough to make you want to see it,just the fact that these on screen heroes existed in real lifedefinitely make it worth the watch.

    This is a WWII movie that doesn't hide or glamorize war but shows theintense reality of what happens when people band together againstoverwhelming evil and survive.

    A solid 8.5/10

  2. eba-junk from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    I enjoyed "Defiance" immensely — there was humor and heartache, with aliberal dose of action. Not a brainless action movie, enough of a storyto make it memorable, and fast-paced enough to keep me from becomingbored.

    On the other hand, although the movie captures the spirit of the story,it is far from a documentary, and I'd have preferred a morehistorically accurate film. I'm biased, though — I read the PeterDuffy book "Bielski Brothers" soon after it was released ("Defiance" isbased on a different book), and I found the real story even morecompelling than the Hollywood version.

    Nonetheless, I live in the real world where directors have to shoot ona budget, and this was a good, diverting peek into a story that waslong overdue to be told.

  3. Lorenzo_von_Matterhorn from every where
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    The movie was good. Not Zwick's best effort though and as for theacting it was Liev Schreiber that delivered the most. Every time I seeCraig I see James Bond and that other guy, Jamie Bell, was barely evenon screen. I'm guessing most of his scenes were cut out of the film topave the way for more Craig screen time. The action set pieces weremostly impressive but the problem is, its over before you know it. ButI can honestly say, it was impressive nonetheless. Its not brainless byany means, the movie has a profound and compelling story. One can onlywonder how these filmmakers come up with more WWII movie ideas everyyear.

    From a visual point of view, the movie looks absolutely beautiful. Fromthe authentic weaponry and uniforms to the rich and colorful Lithuanianlocations, Defiance may fall flat during some points throughout thefilm; as with every other black and white war movies that's beenreleased, the Germans are depicted as war machines of death withoutremorse, if you can overlook these flaws I think it is an enjoyablefilm and in its entirety, Defiance is an overwhelming movie thatdoesn't glamorize the war but shows the intense reality behind it all.A must see for all war movie fans out there.

  4. Danusha Goska (
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    "Defiance" is a very entertaining, exciting, suspenseful, andinspirational film about a tough topic: the Holocaust. Its many actionsequences are well-paced and well-motivated. You know exactly why TuviaBielski (Daniel Craig) breaks into a home and points a gun at a man infront of his family. Daniel Craig and Live Schreiber are terrific asTuvia and Zus Bielski, who lead a band of Jewish forest partisansduring World War Two, thus saying over a thousand lives.

    The movie is not perfect. Characters speak English with Slavic accents.In other scenes, they speak Russian or Belarusian. Craig and Schreibermanage very good Slavic accents, both when speaking English and whenspeaking the Slavic languages, but Craig occasionally lapses into hisEnglish accent when speaking English. Female characters are notparticularly well drawn, or given much to do. While this film is verygood, it doesn't have the production values to be a timeless classiclike "Schindler's List." The movie is controversial. Most of thecontroversies are shallow relative to the most important facts at hand.Many of those attacking this movie have axes to grind, includingcurrent events in the Middle East or feuds between Poles and Jews. Themost important fact is this: the Nazis committed a genocide of sixmillion Jews. In the midst of this Satanic nightmare, the Bielskismanaged to save over a thousand Jews. That's the main, and absolutelytrue, point here, and it should not be lost in bickering over details.

    Compared to other treatments of the Holocaust, this film is fair. Itdoesn't show Slavic peasants as uniformly Jew-hating collaborators.Nazis, not Slavic peasants, were the authors and perpetrators of theHolocaust. Some occupied peoples collaborated, often out of fear andfor financial gain or as payback for old grudges. Some occupied peoplesdid everything they could to help Jews, as does a Belarusian peasant inthis film.

    The Bielskis were not immaculate. They did summarily execute capturedGermans, as shown here. They did raid peasants for provisions, as shownhere. They did work with the Soviets, but so did Uncle Sam. Rememberthat photo of FDR and Churchill smiling with Stalin at Yalta. ThePolish IPN institute is investigating charges that members of theBielski partisans, but not the Bielskis themselves, participated in the1943 Soviet massacre of 128 people in Naliboki. Aron, the youngestBielski brother, was, in 2007, accused of defrauding an elderly Polishwoman. These failures of the Bielski brothers to be perfect in no waylessen their achievement, any more than any failure to be perfectlessen any hero's achievement. Again, in the face of genocide, theBielski brothers managed to save over a thousand people. Were theyperfect? No. Were they admirable, heroic, and worth learning about?Absolutely yes.

  5. aalikka
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    this film surely merits the two stars.

    if you're brave enough to make a movie, you deserve one star. thesecond is for the pictures. and that's it.

    the movie sucked, in general and in detail. and we have noted downquite some of them.

    so, if you're not pulled off by the above and want to continue readinggo ahead.

    first of all, the Bielski family were Polish, not Belorussian, Jews.and Polish Jews spoke Polish, not Russian. Bielski himself spoke poorRussian, he was quite fluent in Polish and Yiddish. so.. the questionis… why do they make the characters in the movie talk Russian andwrite Polish? another thing is, if you make a movie and want to putsomething in a foreign language in it, make sure it's correct. just alittle movie-makers hint. what was written in Polish on a labelattached to the hanged farmer said "amant żydów", which translatesroughly into, putting it nicely, "someone who enjoys Jews in a sexualway". the English translation said "Jew lover". well.. I'm quite surethey did not mean THAT kind of love here…

    the Bielski group never fought Germans. they were never a guerrilla.they lived in the forest alright, and fought mostly Russians. andPolish guerrillas. basically, they would fight anyone.

    so… Tewje Bielski is not a Robin Hood. nor would he ever givespeeches like that about "freedom", "being chased like animals but notbeing animals" and all other sort of American rhetoric.

    btw, didn't he look just like Braveheart, on his white horse, talkingto those tormented Jews? now… we are reaching a very complicatedissue with the name Naliboki.

    in the movie Naliboki was the name of Bielski's camp. quite anunfortunate name as in reality it was not quite so.

    Naliboki was/is the name of a small Polish town that was allegedlymassacred and burnt by Bielski's "troops". the truth is though, thatthe massacre was authored by a Soviet fighting group with the help ofsome local guerrillas, none of them being even related to Bielski. theblame was put on Bielski by the Soviets years later when investigationwas drawn to explain war crimes in that region (many people today stillbelieve the Bielski people are responsible for the massacre.) toinclude this in the movie might have made a really interesting plotline, instead we have a huge confusion.

    the Bielski forming his group and the Naliboki massacre took placeduring a war, quite uncomfortable for Poland, Soviets, Jews andeveryone else Polish-Soviet. this conflict broke out round 1943 in thenowogródek area (a local little war inside the World War II, with noclear division between the "good guys" and the "bad guys".. that's abit too complicated for Hollywood..).

    OK, but referring to the movie, apart from the fact the shots weregood, it was historically inaccurate, interpreted in a wooden andiconic way… can't say much.

    waste of celluloid.

    I'd rather some movie makers didn't wipe their mouth with a "truestory" label. if anything, it might have been "inspired by" with thesource of inspiration left remotely behind.

    (pity you cannot paste links… I've got some really nice ones aboutthe true story.)

  6. tmwest from S. Paulo, Brazil
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    I was almost giving up seeing this film because of certain reviewswhich were not that good. To my amazement , the film turned up to benot good, but excellent. It shows people fighting for their lives,starving, getting to the point where many people loose faith and comeclose to being like animals. That is when you need a good leader whichthe Bielski brothers certainly were. And what good actors, LiveSchreiber as Zus , what a performance, also Daniel Craig faultless asTuvia. When you see all that killing, done by men (and women) trying tosurvive and also in some cases, revenge, you wonder how peaceful, goodpersons can change and become violent, when circumstances demand. Andpray that those times will never happen to us. Spare us from being theChosen People, says the Rabbi, overcome by anguish in a touching scene.But it is through suffering and faith that these people defy theirdestiny. My mother and father left Bielorus before the war. But most oftheir close ones did not.

  7. from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    Most WWII drama would have the Jews on the victim side, DEFIANCE is onethat has The Jews level the playing field. It's a deep, emotional, andriveting tale a true story that deserves to be told. Director EdwardZwick (Glory, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) once again returns to…what he knows best by dealing with a group of underdogs, outnumberedbut putting up a fight. DEFIANCE also proves that the blond James Bond,Daniel Craig, indeed has so much more to offer as an actor. This is thestory of The Fighting Jews.

    The script is well-written, in my humble opinion. The way the storybegins, what motivates the characters and the conflicts along the way.When brothers try to decide what happens next, there's bound to beclash, disagreements and temporary separation. I don't mean this to bebad but the story is about Jews who are walking into the wilderness,trying to stay alive. It sounds a lot like Exodus, and just like thatbook in the bible itself, DEFIANCE shows how tough it is to sticktogether. There's a group trying to discourage a number of people, someare complaining, some think it's best to go back to the ghetto, somestart questioning the leader, and some decide to take power into hisown hand and try to divide and conquer. Edward Zwick's direction makessure the audience can see that the struggle they face is not just aboutrunning away from the Germans, but also the threats from within causedby frustration, fear and lack of good judgment. And just like hisprevious movies, it ain't a Zwick movie if you don't have a finalultimate battle at the end scene, between two opposing sides, in themiddle of a vast field. Another amazing work on the original score byJames Newton Howard that gives us an intense, pulse-pounding feelingduring the battle and the sad, dramatic mood during their travel. Thecinematography by Eduardo Serra beautifully captures the surroundingnature and displays how it takes its toll on the characters.

    The story is disturbingly profound and compelling. There's one leadtheme that resounds throughout the entire movie "We may be hunted likeanimals, but we will not become animals". As the leader, Daniel Craig'scharacter, Tuvia, keeps getting confronted by this. He tries to be anidealist, and his brother, Liev's Schreiber's character, Zus, thinksthat kind of mindset would only invite threat and danger. But as thestory progresses, Tuvia gradually realizes that they're in the middleof war and the lines between justice and humanity have become uncertainin these desperate times. A German officer is caught by the group andhe just stands there as they beat the German to death. At one pointhe's even forced to kill one of his own. What separates us fromanimals? The ability to have remorse after we commit vengeance and doour violent bidding? Zus believes that Jews, Russians, whichever, areall the same when fighting a common enemy but he comes to terms withthe fact that he will never escape the fact that he is a Jew and it'sthe only values he has left to hold on to, its what kept him frombecoming less than a human being.

    Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell both give excellent performances and arejust right for the role but we can agree that this move belongs toDaniel Craig. He seems to like playing a Jew who kicks ass. As I watchDEFIANCE, I'm reminded by his line from Munich, "Don't F*ck With TheJews" Years from now, he won't be remembered just as another JamesBond, but also a talented actor who likes to take on challenging rolesand complete them with the utmost respect. Craig in DEFIANCE shows awide range of ability, you can see through his eyes the burdens ofleadership, the not knowing what exactly to do but he's got all thesepeople looking up to him. I wouldn't have thought Craig to be thisversatile when I watched him in the movie Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider,years ago.

  8. Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    In 1941, in Belorussia, the Jewish Bielski brothers succeed in escapingfrom the massacre of the German in their village where their parentswere killed. They hide in the woods and sooner other runaway Jews jointhem. Tuvia Bielski (Daniel Craig), the eldest brother, assumes theleadership of the survivors and plans a camp with tasks for everyone inthe community; however, his brother Zus Bielski (Liev Schreiber) wantsto fight against the Germans and does not agree with Tuvia'sdirections. Zus decides to join the Russian resistance that believesthat Jews do not fight. While Tuvia welcomes any survivor in his campwith his two younger brothers and fight for food and ammunition, Zusfinds anti- Semitism among the Russian partisans.

    "Defiance" is an excellent movie based on a true story that proves thatnothing is impossible to survive. Of course, the plot is romanticized,but the merit of these Bielski brothers is undeniable. The direction ofEdward Zwick (from "Blood Diamond") is outstanding, with the journey ofa group of survivors that uses human characters in drama, romance andaction in realistic scenes (the battle sequences are amazing). Thelandscapes are extremely beautiful, especially in the winter with thefrozen forest. The cast is magnificent, and is difficult to highlightan individual performance. The beauty of the unknown Alexa Davalos isimpressive. My vote is nine.

    Title (Brazil): "Um Ato de Liberdade" ("An Act of Liberty")

  9. chocolatequeen820 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm

    I was able to see this movie before it officially got out, and i wasvery impressed with this movie. I was dying to see Defiance because i'ma huge Jamie Bell fan, and the story seemed really interesting, but iwas kind of worried cause Daniel Craig is not exactly one of myfavorite actors, but he really impressed me. I think this is his bestmovie yet. And it's not just the acting, but i think the way they toldthis story is very efficient, and the sets were incredible. I thinkthey truly stuck to the story of what really happened back then, andbelieve me, you will not be disappointed with this movie. Jamie Bellwas wonderful as Asael (as usual), Liev Schreiber was great, and DanielCraig was just as great. In my opinion, this movie is a must-see.

  10. tillc from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:45 pm


    When most people learn about World War II during their American Historyclasses, they hear all about the major stories and the major players:D-Day, Eisenhower, the Holocaust, Hitler, Axis vs. Allies, Battle ofthe Bulge, but there are literally thousands of lesser-known storiesfrom that era that many have not yet heard. It was one such obscurestory that is the basis for the film Defiance, starring Daniel Craig.

    The film begins with a familiar theme — Nazi soldiers rounding up Jewsin Western Europe. The grainy, black-and-white style tells us that thisis a true story. However, as events unfold, we realize that this isn'tthe Holocaust story that we're accustomed to seeing in films likeSchindler's List. In fact, it's a story about hundreds of Jews whofight for survival as free men and women in the dense and expansiveforests of Nazi-occupied Poland.

    Daniel Craig gives perhaps one of his best performances as TuviaBielski, the eldest of four Jewish brothers and the eventual leader ofthe Bielski partisans. Although the Bielski's and fellow Jews areforced to watch as their people are rounded up and killed by the Nazis,Tuvia wants to avoid becoming a group of vigilantes. The conflictarises from younger brother Zus (Liev Schreiber) who desperately wantsto avenge the deaths of those he loved. Tuvia is conflicted by theknowledge that in extreme circumstances one must often take extrememeasures in order to survive and protect others.

    Throughout the film tension is woven by utilizing a number of differentmethods, all of which make the movie much more compelling. First, asmentioned, is the conflict between fighting and surviving. Second, isthe suspense created by the knowledge that the Nazis are closing inaround them. Third is the conflict between the Bielskis and the localpolice who are loyal to the Nazis. Fourth is the inner struggles theBielskis face when some of their own decide to cause disagreements anddivisions. For those unfamiliar with the story, the fate of theBielskis is constantly in doubt.

    The cinematography of the film is gray and muted, reflective of thesomber tone of the subject matter. The musical score is reminiscent ofJohn William's score in Schindler's List — soft and sad with the celloand violin taking the melody. In some ways it feels that Defiance takesits visual cues from Schindler's List as well; there's something aboutthe look of the movie that seems familiar. The battle scenes aresimilar in style to Saving Private Ryan, complete with the dazed,ringing-in-the-ears experience following a grenade that goes off tooclose to Tuvia. I would have appreciated a more unique perspective tothe aesthetics of the film to coincide with the uniqueness of thestory.

    In all, Defiance is an important story that needs to be heard. DanielCraig leads a great cast of characters in an emotional journey ofcommunity, camaraderie, and hope.

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