Saturday, 14 August 2010

Defiance (2008)

Bielski Brothers
I had previously enjoyed directorial work from the American director Edward Zwick including Legends of the Fall (1994) The Last Samurai (2003) and especially Blood Diamond (2006) which I have seen on a number of occasions, in fact its a subject that’s back in the headlines at present with the Naomi Campbell/Charles Taylor affair. Defiance (2008) is no where near as good as this previous work. This ‘war’ film is an account of the Bielski partisans, a group led by three brothers who saved and recruited Jews in Belarus during the Second World War. The film stars a rather dour Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski and Liev Schreiber who does manage to breathe some life into the character of Zus Bielski. Filming took place in Lithuania just across the Border from the actual location which at least adds a sense of authenticity to the proceedings.

No one comes out of this story with any credit; the passive Jews appear to care more for their possessions than their own lives, Soviet partisans are not fussed who they kill be it Jews, Germans or the local inhabitants who in turn seem to be quite happy co-inhabiting with the invading army and handing over the local Polish Jews. Well at least you know where you are with the Nazis! Zwick directs this unexciting movie with a very heavy hand. Not an enjoyable film and one I would not recommend.

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