“Defiance” with Daniel Craig follows The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Valkyrie, and Miracle at St. Anna as another recent movie about World War II, and I would rate it right up there with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Miracle at St. Anna as great movies to see. Based on a true story, “Defiance” arrives on DVD on June 2, 2009.
Defiance stars Daniel Craig (Quantum of Solace), Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Jamie Bell (Flags Of Our Fathers) as the four Bielski brothers: Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber), Asael (Jamie Bell), and Aron (George MacKay). The Bielskis are a simple farming family living in Poland (now western Belarus). They lose their parents to a Nazi purge of their town. Three brothers still live at home, and as they make their escape, their oldest brother Tuvia finds them in the woods.
The Bielski brothers plan to live off the land in the deep forest, but their plan is complicated as other refugees find them. Things are also complicated by the competition between Zus and Tuvia. Zus wants the brothers to flee on their own where they can move, hide and feed themselves easily. Tuvia won’t turn anyone away and plans to take care of anyone who joins them. Outnumbered and outgunned. the Bielski brothers turn a growing group of war refugees into powerful freedom fighters.
The Nazis hunt the Bielski Otriad ruthlessly, twice destroying the camps the Bielski Partisans build. The group survives harsh winters in the woods, sickness, betrayals, and bombs. Many are killed or die from hunger and the cold. But the Bielski group survives insurmountable odds because they refuse to give up and give in, ultimately growing to a total of 1,200 Jews.
This inspirational story of family, courage and survival is the complete package. Defiance is riveting enough to keep viewers engrossed, with believable characters who are flawed but who grow throughout the movie. There is romance, adventure, and an incredible fight for survival that makes this movie stay with the viewer long after the movie is over. Watching Defiance was a wonderful way to celebrate my Memorial Day, and I heartily recommend the DVD for your summer viewing.
Defiance Special Features include:
• Commentary by director Edward Zwick
• Defiance: Return to the Forest (HD)—Explores all aspects of production from the early stages of pre-production to shooting on location in Lithuania. Edward Zwick and his creative team discuss some of the challenges and also the rewards of adapting this well-documented historical event into a feature film.
• Bielski Partisan Survivors (HD)—Photo gallery of images taken by Edward Zwick including behind-the-scenes images and surviving members from the Bielski Otriad.
• Children of the Otriad: The Families Speak (HD)—Descendents of the Bielski family tour the film’s set and relate the story of the real-life partisans along with efforts to preserve the brothers’ legacy.
• Scoring Defiance (HD) —Blu-ray only —Academy Award® nominated composer James Newton Howard and violinist Joshua Bell discuss the incredible film score for Defiance.
• Theatrical trailers (HD)
Runtime for Defiance is 136 minutes. The movie is rated R for violence and language.
Valkyrie with Tom Cruise Releases on DVD on May 19
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Now on DVD
Miracle at St. Anna on DVD February 10More Book Reviews!