Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 7.5
Based on a true story, three Jewish brothers flee from Nazi occupied Poland to take refuge in the Belarussian forest, eventually joined by other Jews to form a camp that defies by living.
Normally I’d be the first one to say, oh goodie, another Nazi movie, meh. Or, another recent movie with Daniel Craig. Surprisingly, neither statement is fair for Defiance, which is a fine film and one worth watching. Craig gives a stellar performance as Tuvia Bielski, reluctant leader and champion of the camps in the forest. Liev Schreiber, as Tuvia’s more violent brother Zus, also lands a lively performance. And there’s plenty of others, camp refugees and love interests and Russian sometime allies and sometime annoyances. But really, it’s Schreiber and Craig that stand out the most, and the movie has a tendency to concentrate on the brothers Bielski rivalry and tension.
These Jews in the movie, they lived out in the forest, more than a thousand people on the run from the slaughtering Nazis, for more than two years. And yes they suffered through things like famine and typhus. They also lived. At some point in the movie, after suffering a great many hardships, Craig’s character on the point of controlling mutiny in his camp, delivers a grand speech about how they defy the Nazis by living. Hence the name of the movie.
Not what you would expect, Defiance defies movie boundaries for a fine cinematic experience!