Non member Defiance Reviews

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Thelma
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Post by Thelma » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:45 pm

I never trust critics. Most of the time, they're totally wrong,so...Better to ignore them.

Daskedusken
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Post by Daskedusken » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:49 pm

I read the reviews to see what others think of it; and as Mariah said: it's their job giving a detailed review. I often don't agree with the critics either.
"Leben ist zeichnen ohne Radiergummi"

Germangirl
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Post by Germangirl » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:10 am

Mostly those reviews of the movie going audience are much better for this film

Superb Movie: Defiance

I just finished watching Defiance, a film based on a true story set in Belarus, West Poland, during the Second World War where a group of four brothers, the Bielskis’, protected hundreds of Jews from the Nazi Germans. Their mission was to save as many Jews as possible from neighboring towns and the ghettos. The film stars James Bond star, Daniel Craig, and Liev Schreiber. Defiance was directed by Edward Zwick, the same man behind Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai. The movie has already been released yesterday to selected theatres in the United States, however, a wide release will be scheduled on January 9, 2009.
Daniel Craig portrayed his character brilliantly, however, you can still recognize his British accent at times during the film. Most of Defiance’s scenes were in the forest, on the other hand, this didn’t bother or bore me at all as there was always a tense scene a few minutes after. If my memory still serves me, the last time I watched a movie based on the Second World War was the ten-part TV series, Band of Brothers, in which I enjoyed and loved (and yes shed a few tears).
Anyway, I’m not really into reviewing movies. Just go ahead and watch the film. Moreover, this was an excellent movie to start the new year! Definitely a thumbs up! RECOMMENDED!
http://www.mangochico.com/superb-movie-defiance/
The top notch acting in the Weisz/Craig/Spall 'Betrayal' is emotionally true, often v funny and its beautifully staged with filmic qualities..

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amanda7609daniel68
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Post by amanda7609daniel68 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:23 pm

Critics aren't paid to be nice. Not sure if anyone remembers the hype over the remake of War of the Worlds? Well I watched that on a long haul flight, and after wards me and my friend said it was possibly the worst thing we had ever sat through(though I can think of one other), it bore no resemblance to the orginal or the musical offering........the only thing we enjoyed was actually visiting the plane crash scene at Universal because we'd seen that on our flight over.

So I do not read reviews. If I want to see something I will, I find that if I think I'll enjoy the subject matter then I will enjoy the film, Titanic, look at those reviews.......and I've got to say I hated the film and can't understand the hype myself........

Anyway rant over. Not sure if I will be able to get to the cinema to see this myself but if I can't I'll get the DVD (I don't like our local cinema and I'd have to go alone and I don't like that)

Faustine
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Post by Faustine » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:34 pm

Thelma wrote:I never trust critics. Most of the time, they're totally wrong,so...Better to ignore them.
I agree with in some point. It´s just another vision... I never trust completely in any critic bad or good. I trust in my perception and in my taste and it does not change for any actor: I can see a movie still knowing that it´s bad because I like the actor (Daniel or any other actor) ... but it continues looking like to me a bad movie.

I never trust in box office either. Too many people see a movie don´t make a good movie
We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone.

6. Say what I’m thinking

Germangirl
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Post by Germangirl » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:41 am

Great read

True Defiance: The story of the fabulous Bielski boys

The thrilling story of three Jewish brothers who dared to defy the Nazis is an epic new movie. And their descendants live on in a quiet New York neighbourhood. David Usborne reports
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Daniel Craig plays Tuvia in Defiance

As the lights came back up at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon, Robert Bielsky could only smile. The credits were rolling – first up were the big-name stars, of course, Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber – and others in the audience were variously weeping or clapping or both.
It was the 20th time Mr Bielsky had seen the film, Defiance, either partially or all the way through, but this was its first public outing, on limited release. (It goes on general release in the US and Britain later this month.) But he had to be there. At last the story that so nearly petered out in the tidy streets of the Midwood section of Brooklyn was out there for all the world to see. The story of what his Jewish forebears – his uncles and his father – did during the Holocaust. The story of how they fought back.
This, of course, is the season when all the high-octane, high-expectation films come out, with the Oscar nominations just around the corner. The market is crowded. And this year, perhaps more than in any other, there is a risk that a kind of Nazi/Holocaust-weariness could set in with the likes of Valkyrie, The Reader, A Secret (French) and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas all tapping the same vein.
Defiance has the opportunity to stand out, however, and not just because it features Mr Craig doing something that is not James Bond. Directed by Ed Zwick (Blood Diamond, Glory, Legends of the Fall) it is not a film that explores the familiar themes of victimhood and Jewish passivity in the face of Nazi savagery. The subject of this film is something different entirely. It is right there in its title.
Mr Zwick has given us the tale of the Bielski brothers – Tuvia (Robert's father), Zus and Asael – who in 1941 found themselves in Belorussia (modern day Belarus) being overrun suddenly by the Nazis as they moved east. Members of their own immediate family had been shot by German soldiers, while thousands of other Jews were being corralled into ghettoes where only death and starvation awaited them. The Bielski (Robert spells the name with a y) brothers, however, resisted.
More than resist, they founded a secret and mobile settlement in the forests of Belorussia. Tuvia and Zus – respectively the leader with the brains and the leader with the angry brawn – killed any German or collaborator who threatened their fugitive community, and sent scouts into the ghettoes to rescue more Jews to join them. Before it was over – and the film does not cover the whole time that the partisans were in the woods – their band had swelled to number 1,200. That is 1,200 Jews who were saved.
The film is an astonishing chronicle of courage and survival that is likely to be all the more affecting when audiences know it is based on real history. Never mind the response of a few critics, that Mr Zwick is less than subtle in his exploitation of our emotions and in the delivery of the film's message.
Certainly it cannot be missed in a scene roughly halfway through when Tuvia Bielski (aka Daniel Craig) meets a bedraggled new gaggle of Jewish families in the trees looking for his protection and vowing to provide it to them. "He's a Jew?" asks a dirty-faced child. Cue violin music. "Yes," the parent whispers back. (Oh and Tuvia, by the way, is sitting all the while on a handsome white horse.)
If part of the burden of being Jewish at the start of the 21st century is working to keep alive painful memories from the 20th, especially as the generation that witnessed the horrors begins to leave us for good, then this was one story, remarkable though it may be, that almost fell through the cracks.
When the war was over Asael Bielski was dead and there was no congratulation party waiting for Zus and Tuvia, however heroic they had been. One after the other, they left their native land and, via short spells in Palestine, found themselves emigrating to a place where others in their family, including an elder brother, had travelled to before the war had started. That was Brooklyn and more specifically, Midwood, a rather bland but orderly area of single family homes and clipped lawns close to Coney Island.
The post-year wars were not ones of white horses nor any kind of glory for the Bielski brothers, in spite of what they had done. Rather, like so many in the Jewish diaspora, they melted into their new milieu. They learnt the American middle class way, working and bearing children. Zus opened a petrol station in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge and later set up a small cab company. Tuvia, proud yet humble in his new circumstance, built a modest plastics haulage business. The father of Robert, Tuvia spent most of the rest of his life at the wheel driving plastic parts around Brooklyn in his lorry, and was virtually penniless when he died in 1985. He was buried with no particular hoopla in a grave on Long Island. (He was later to be disinterred and given a state funeral in Jerusalem, however.) Zus was to die just eight years later. Zus's widow, Sonia, is still alive and living in Brooklyn, but is in poor health.
The brothers, in other words, lived, worked and died in Brooklyn anonymously. A small stone marker was erected in honour of Tuvia after his death in a Holocaust memorial mall in Sheepshead Park by the water near Coney Island, but for years even members of the extended family did not know it existed.
At the start of the Nineties there was a brief squall of interest in what happened in the Belorussian woods and the connections drawn over the decades with Brooklyn when a professor at the University of Connecticut, Nechama Tec, wrote a rather scholarly book on the subject, Defiance: The Bielski Partisans. An 80-page children's book based on the heroism in the forest was also published in the Nineties. But to most of the world and even to neighbours in Brooklyn, Bielski remained an unknown name.
Tuvia's widow and Robert's mother, Lilka Bielski, remained in Midwood all her remaining years, but died at the end of 2001, just 11 days after the felling of the twin towers in the 9/11 terror attacks. In 2000, however, she spoke to a reporter writing an extended feature about the Bielskis for The New York Times. Of her husband, she said. "In America, he was a number like everybody else." Then she added, "He would always say, 'I'll be famous after I'm dead.' "
Well, indeed, thanks to Mr Zwick and, of course, Daniel Craig. Mr Zwick chose to make the film after reading the book by Professor Tec. It was while on a plane from New York to London, when he was about to begin shooting Blood Diamond, that he met Mr Craig by chance for the first time, and thought to cast him as Tuvia. Once he had the money to begin work on Defiance, the next stop for Mr Zwick were the Bielski family members who were still living in Brooklyn, first among them Robert.
His name was not among those rolling past on the screen at the Ziegfeld. But Robert Bielski, a commercial estate agent who works in Manhattan but lives today on Long Island beyond the city, became closely involved in the project. He gave Mr Zwick old home movies to watch, including one that showed his father talking in specific detail about what happened in the forests shortly before he died. He also travelled to Lithuania to see where the director intended to shoot most of the film in a region, in fact, that is less than 50 miles from where the partisans were based all those decades ago. He returned a second time with his children to visit areas of the forest where the partisans hid in huts. Mr Bielski also notes proudly that one of his sons, Jordan – a grandson of Tuvia – has a small role in the film. Ironically, though, he plays a Nazi collaborator.
"We first met Ed two years ago and it's been a very emotional time since then," Mr Bielski, 50, explained this week. If he was nervous at first how Hollywood would handle the material that is at the heart of his family's heritage, today he seems more than satisfied with how the film turned out.
"I went in with an open mind. Ed basically laid out his vision for what the movie was going to be, and it has come out exactly as he said it would, down to the relationships between the brothers. What he told me the first day we met became reality."
Those who say that casting Mr Craig, blond and blue-eyed, is stretching credulity for box office expedience have it wrong, Mr Bielski adds. "Craig is dead on, first of all. Second, my father didn't look much different from him. He too was a blond, blue-eyed man. One of the reasons he didn't get captured was he was able to move around because he didn't look like a Jew."
Most moving of all for Robert, perhaps, was an evening in October when he hosted a screening of the film at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, on whose board he serves. Mr Zwick flew in from California to speak. But more importantly, he had invited as many Bielski family members as he could find. In the screening room that night, he counted 148 relatives of the brothers in the woods. They had come from Brooklyn, for sure, but also from elsewhere in the US and from Israel and even Australia.
Also there that night were some of the children of the 1,200 Jewish people the Bielskis saved. It is what they have achieved – and what was lost to the world because of the 6 million Jews who did not survive the Holocaust – that makes the film important, Mr Bielski believes.
"Today the descendants of the 1,200 number tens of thousands," he said. "Many are very, very productive people and influential people – we have lawyers, we have builders, we have politicians. They are people who would otherwise not be alive. I look at it now and think of what the Germans did to the world. By destroying 6 million lives, they caused the world to miss out the descendants who could have been so incredibly productive, who maybe could have cured cancer or had us living on Jupiter. Who knows?"
And again, the film of course is also important, he says, because it is about the Jews fighting the Nazis and cheating them of victims.
And what would his father have thought of it?
"He never considered himself a hero, and never sought any kind of accolades," Robert replied. "But he would have thought it was very authentic."
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 22868.html
The top notch acting in the Weisz/Craig/Spall 'Betrayal' is emotionally true, often v funny and its beautifully staged with filmic qualities..

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Thelma
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Post by Thelma » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:41 pm

Germangirl wrote:Great read

True Defiance: The story of the fabulous Bielski boys

The thrilling story of three Jewish brothers who dared to defy the Nazis is an epic new movie. And their descendants live on in a quiet New York neighbourhood. David Usborne reports
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Daniel Craig plays Tuvia in Defiance

As the lights came back up at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon, Robert Bielsky could only smile. The credits were rolling – first up were the big-name stars, of course, Daniel Craig and Liev Schrieber – and others in the audience were variously weeping or clapping or both.
It was the 20th time Mr Bielsky had seen the film, Defiance, either partially or all the way through, but this was its first public outing, on limited release. (It goes on general release in the US and Britain later this month.) But he had to be there. At last the story that so nearly petered out in the tidy streets of the Midwood section of Brooklyn was out there for all the world to see. The story of what his Jewish forebears – his uncles and his father – did during the Holocaust. The story of how they fought back.
This, of course, is the season when all the high-octane, high-expectation films come out, with the Oscar nominations just around the corner. The market is crowded. And this year, perhaps more than in any other, there is a risk that a kind of Nazi/Holocaust-weariness could set in with the likes of Valkyrie, The Reader, A Secret (French) and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas all tapping the same vein.
Defiance has the opportunity to stand out, however, and not just because it features Mr Craig doing something that is not James Bond. Directed by Ed Zwick (Blood Diamond, Glory, Legends of the Fall) it is not a film that explores the familiar themes of victimhood and Jewish passivity in the face of Nazi savagery. The subject of this film is something different entirely. It is right there in its title.
Mr Zwick has given us the tale of the Bielski brothers – Tuvia (Robert's father), Zus and Asael – who in 1941 found themselves in Belorussia (modern day Belarus) being overrun suddenly by the Nazis as they moved east. Members of their own immediate family had been shot by German soldiers, while thousands of other Jews were being corralled into ghettoes where only death and starvation awaited them. The Bielski (Robert spells the name with a y) brothers, however, resisted.
More than resist, they founded a secret and mobile settlement in the forests of Belorussia. Tuvia and Zus – respectively the leader with the brains and the leader with the angry brawn – killed any German or collaborator who threatened their fugitive community, and sent scouts into the ghettoes to rescue more Jews to join them. Before it was over – and the film does not cover the whole time that the partisans were in the woods – their band had swelled to number 1,200. That is 1,200 Jews who were saved.
The film is an astonishing chronicle of courage and survival that is likely to be all the more affecting when audiences know it is based on real history. Never mind the response of a few critics, that Mr Zwick is less than subtle in his exploitation of our emotions and in the delivery of the film's message.
Certainly it cannot be missed in a scene roughly halfway through when Tuvia Bielski (aka Daniel Craig) meets a bedraggled new gaggle of Jewish families in the trees looking for his protection and vowing to provide it to them. "He's a Jew?" asks a dirty-faced child. Cue violin music. "Yes," the parent whispers back. (Oh and Tuvia, by the way, is sitting all the while on a handsome white horse.)
If part of the burden of being Jewish at the start of the 21st century is working to keep alive painful memories from the 20th, especially as the generation that witnessed the horrors begins to leave us for good, then this was one story, remarkable though it may be, that almost fell through the cracks.
When the war was over Asael Bielski was dead and there was no congratulation party waiting for Zus and Tuvia, however heroic they had been. One after the other, they left their native land and, via short spells in Palestine, found themselves emigrating to a place where others in their family, including an elder brother, had travelled to before the war had started. That was Brooklyn and more specifically, Midwood, a rather bland but orderly area of single family homes and clipped lawns close to Coney Island.
The post-year wars were not ones of white horses nor any kind of glory for the Bielski brothers, in spite of what they had done. Rather, like so many in the Jewish diaspora, they melted into their new milieu. They learnt the American middle class way, working and bearing children. Zus opened a petrol station in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge and later set up a small cab company. Tuvia, proud yet humble in his new circumstance, built a modest plastics haulage business. The father of Robert, Tuvia spent most of the rest of his life at the wheel driving plastic parts around Brooklyn in his lorry, and was virtually penniless when he died in 1985. He was buried with no particular hoopla in a grave on Long Island. (He was later to be disinterred and given a state funeral in Jerusalem, however.) Zus was to die just eight years later. Zus's widow, Sonia, is still alive and living in Brooklyn, but is in poor health.
The brothers, in other words, lived, worked and died in Brooklyn anonymously. A small stone marker was erected in honour of Tuvia after his death in a Holocaust memorial mall in Sheepshead Park by the water near Coney Island, but for years even members of the extended family did not know it existed.
At the start of the Nineties there was a brief squall of interest in what happened in the Belorussian woods and the connections drawn over the decades with Brooklyn when a professor at the University of Connecticut, Nechama Tec, wrote a rather scholarly book on the subject, Defiance: The Bielski Partisans. An 80-page children's book based on the heroism in the forest was also published in the Nineties. But to most of the world and even to neighbours in Brooklyn, Bielski remained an unknown name.
Tuvia's widow and Robert's mother, Lilka Bielski, remained in Midwood all her remaining years, but died at the end of 2001, just 11 days after the felling of the twin towers in the 9/11 terror attacks. In 2000, however, she spoke to a reporter writing an extended feature about the Bielskis for The New York Times. Of her husband, she said. "In America, he was a number like everybody else." Then she added, "He would always say, 'I'll be famous after I'm dead.' "
Well, indeed, thanks to Mr Zwick and, of course, Daniel Craig. Mr Zwick chose to make the film after reading the book by Professor Tec. It was while on a plane from New York to London, when he was about to begin shooting Blood Diamond, that he met Mr Craig by chance for the first time, and thought to cast him as Tuvia. Once he had the money to begin work on Defiance, the next stop for Mr Zwick were the Bielski family members who were still living in Brooklyn, first among them Robert.
His name was not among those rolling past on the screen at the Ziegfeld. But Robert Bielski, a commercial estate agent who works in Manhattan but lives today on Long Island beyond the city, became closely involved in the project. He gave Mr Zwick old home movies to watch, including one that showed his father talking in specific detail about what happened in the forests shortly before he died. He also travelled to Lithuania to see where the director intended to shoot most of the film in a region, in fact, that is less than 50 miles from where the partisans were based all those decades ago. He returned a second time with his children to visit areas of the forest where the partisans hid in huts. Mr Bielski also notes proudly that one of his sons, Jordan – a grandson of Tuvia – has a small role in the film. Ironically, though, he plays a Nazi collaborator.
"We first met Ed two years ago and it's been a very emotional time since then," Mr Bielski, 50, explained this week. If he was nervous at first how Hollywood would handle the material that is at the heart of his family's heritage, today he seems more than satisfied with how the film turned out.
"I went in with an open mind. Ed basically laid out his vision for what the movie was going to be, and it has come out exactly as he said it would, down to the relationships between the brothers. What he told me the first day we met became reality."
Those who say that casting Mr Craig, blond and blue-eyed, is stretching credulity for box office expedience have it wrong, Mr Bielski adds. "Craig is dead on, first of all. Second, my father didn't look much different from him. He too was a blond, blue-eyed man. One of the reasons he didn't get captured was he was able to move around because he didn't look like a Jew."
Most moving of all for Robert, perhaps, was an evening in October when he hosted a screening of the film at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, on whose board he serves. Mr Zwick flew in from California to speak. But more importantly, he had invited as many Bielski family members as he could find. In the screening room that night, he counted 148 relatives of the brothers in the woods. They had come from Brooklyn, for sure, but also from elsewhere in the US and from Israel and even Australia.
Also there that night were some of the children of the 1,200 Jewish people the Bielskis saved. It is what they have achieved – and what was lost to the world because of the 6 million Jews who did not survive the Holocaust – that makes the film important, Mr Bielski believes.
"Today the descendants of the 1,200 number tens of thousands," he said. "Many are very, very productive people and influential people – we have lawyers, we have builders, we have politicians. They are people who would otherwise not be alive. I look at it now and think of what the Germans did to the world. By destroying 6 million lives, they caused the world to miss out the descendants who could have been so incredibly productive, who maybe could have cured cancer or had us living on Jupiter. Who knows?"
And again, the film of course is also important, he says, because it is about the Jews fighting the Nazis and cheating them of victims.
And what would his father have thought of it?
"He never considered himself a hero, and never sought any kind of accolades," Robert replied. "But he would have thought it was very authentic."
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 22868.html
Thank you Germangirl for that one, a great read. :)

plaka
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Post by plaka » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:33 pm

Another article on the true story of Defiance from the Sunday Times UK.
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 422954.ece

Giving the Third Reich a bloody nose
The true story of Defiance is one of the second world war’s most extraordinary feats of armed resistanceChristopher Goodwin
More than 60 years after the end of the second world war, it seems almost inconceivable that a story as astonishing as that depicted in the new film Defiance should have remained essentially unknown until now. Especially as, unlike so much else we know about the war and the Holocaust, this is a story not of victimhood, but of indomitable and often brutal Jewish resistance to the Nazis.

Defiance tells the story of the partisan group formed by the Bielskis, three Jewish brothers who had been farmers before the war, after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Living deep in the forests of what is now Belarus, the Bielski partisans managed to keep more than 1,200 Jews alive until the end of the war. In the film, Tuvia, the leader, is played by Daniel Craig, Zus by Liev Schreiber and Asael by Jamie Bell.

Their story would have remained untold were it not for their children. Mickey Bielski, Tuvia’s oldest son, knew nothing about his father’s heroism until other people started telling him. “Out of the blue, someone would say something dramatic, like, ‘Your father saved my life,’ ” he recalled. “I had no idea what they were talking about.”

As Mickey and the other Bielski children pressed their parents to tell them more, the story came out in dribs and drabs. “My father would get emotional when he told stories from that time,” said Robert, one of Tuvia’s other sons. “The older he got, the more emotional he became, so it was hard to get the complete stories out of him.”
Although something of the history of the Bielski partisans was known in Jewish circles, it was not until Oxford University Press published Defiance: The Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec, a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, in 1993 that the story became more widely known. The film is based on Tec’s book, as well as interviews with members of the Bielski family and other survivors, and videotaped interviews done with Tuvia and Zus before their deaths.

The Bielskis grew up on a farm in Stankevich, which was under Soviet control when the Nazis invaded in June 1941. In December 1941, their parents and many other family members, including Zus’s wife and small daughter, and Tuvia’s first wife, were killed in a mass execution in the Novogrudok ghetto. With about 10 others, the brothers fled to the woods they had known since they were children and formed a small resistance group. Rather than just seeking their own survival, however, the Bielski partisans went on missions into nearby Jewish ghettos to persuade others to join them in the Naliboki forest.

Instead of offering sanctuary merely to the young and able-bodied, who might have the best chance of surviving, Tuvia insisted on taking anyone, including old people and young children, doctors and lawyers as well as carpenters, barbers and blacksmiths, who were more useful. “I would rather save one old Jewish woman than kill 10 German soldiers,” he often said.

Although they were forced to move many times, and more than 50 died of disease and in the brutal winters, they tried to establish as normal a life as possible in the forest, building an underground village with a hospital, a mill, a metal shop, a bakery, a jail and, eventually, a theatre and a synagogue.

To survive, they got weapons and other supplies by attacking the Nazis, Nazi sym-pathisers and locals who had killed or betrayed Jews. They exacted terrible and brutal retribution against those they counted as enemies. Their exploits became so famous that the Nazis offered a reward of 100,000 Reichmarks for Tuvia’s capture. Yet at the end of the war, he led some 1,230 people out of the forest.

The director, Ed Zwick, who is Jewish, says he was attracted to the story because it told a different side of what happened to the Jews during the war: “Rather than victims wearing yellow stars, here were fighters in fur chapkas, brandishing machineguns. Instead of helplessness and submission, here were rage and resistance.”

After going to Palestine and fighting in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the surviving Bielski brothers emigrated to America in 1956 and lived in Brooklyn, New York. (Asael was killed in 1945, fighting with the Red Army.) In New York, Zus, who died in 1995, and Tuvia worked as taxi and truck drivers.

Tuvia found it especially hard to adapt, according to his son Mickey. “He went from absolute authority - respect, admiration, loyalty - to coming to this country and getting a job being a truck driver,” he says. “I saw this man, at age 70, pick up drums of raw plastic material and load them onto a truck, 20 or 30 of them. It would kill me inside that he would wind up his life in this way.” Tuvia died in 1987, almost penniless.

Daskedusken
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Post by Daskedusken » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:28 pm

Thanks plaka, very nice article.
"Leben ist zeichnen ohne Radiergummi"

Thelma
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Post by Thelma » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:17 am

Defiance

My first post for this year! Finally after a long holiday I get a chance to review once again.

To start the year, here is a review of Defiance. It stars Daniel Craig(no need to refresh which movies he’s in), Liev Schreiber(played Sabretooth in the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Jamie Bell(Jumper).

Based on a true story, three Jewish brothers who escaped from Nazi occupied Poland and headed to Belarussian forest. Sounds like a cat and mouse situation.

So how was the movie?

First off, I never really mind the Jews/Nazis or what group of people they belong with. It could have been Japanese/American, I don’t care so I just sit back and enjoy. The situation they were in to, I could really feel their struggles, hunger for revenge and necessity to survived. The acting was really good especially Daniel Craig. It’s good to see him in a different genre. Forget the gadgets of James Bond, Craig doesn’t have that on this film. The war scenes were also entertaining.

Overall, it’s a good movie but I enjoyed more on the drama than the war itself. The tension of the characters is good reason enough to watch this film.

My Rating: 7.0/10

http://www.movietalks.ihenshin.com/2009/01/06/defiance/

advicky
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Post by advicky » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:17 pm

Defiance: Bond of brothers as Craig stars in true tale of Jewish defiance

By Derek Malcolm

The story is extraordinary, all the more so because it is true. In 1941, three farming brothers, Jewish Poles, took refuge in the dense woods of Belarus near the Novogrudok ghetto as the Nazi occupiers massacred their compatriots by the thousand.
They not only learned how to stay alive but fought the German patrols and their collaborators and raided their old homes to mete out revenge.
By the end of the war they had established a community of survivors numbering well over 1,000.

So much for the persistent theory that the Jews did nothing to fight back.
In Edward Zwick's film, based on Nechama Tec's moving book of the same name, Daniel Craig - taking time off from playing James Bond - Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell take the parts of the brothers, fierce rivals at times but determined somehow to survive.

It is an unorthodox cast - probably an attempt to increase the box office value of yet another holocaust story.
What doesn't work is Zwick's pedestrian telling of the tale.

It is not aided by a very ordinary screenplay from Zwick and Clay Frohman and by direction which constantly puts one in mind of an old-fashioned Second World War thriller that happens to star Jewish heroes rather than John Wayne or Errol Flynn.
Even so, Craig as Tuvia, the reluctant but eventually dictatorial leader of the group, who had himself lost his wife and infant daughter, demonstrates that playing 007 only partly shows off his talents.
And both Schreiber, as the brother hooked on revenge rather than survival, and Bell, as the youngest sibling emotionally caught between the two, seem like real people rather than actors.
Defiance remains a fantastic story. No one could doubt the sincerity of its telling. What Defiance lacks is simply an ability to make it come fully alive.

Rating: ***

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/re ... iance.html

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Ang
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Post by Ang » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:24 pm

I don't know if this is just for professional reviewers or also for the views of regular board members but I want to post in the right section so:

(WITH NO PARTICULAR SPOILERS)

I've just come back from seeing Defiance at my local cinema, it wasn't very well attended but I was at the 5pm showing. I haven't read any other reviews (I never do when I know I'm going to see a film, it only influences your viewing of it) but I had got the impression it hadn't been reviewed well so I went in expecting a sentimental, "SAINTLY AND HEROIC JEWS against the EVIL NAZIS film, all stereotypes you know, and it really surprised me, in a good way. Not to say that people in the film don't act heroically occasionally, they do, but much of the film is about the Bielski brothers getting landed with a responsibility they don't really want and how they deal with it.

Tuvia, Daniel's character isn't a natural leader, he doesn't want the challenge, he just doesn’t know how to turn people away. (when Zus, Liev’s character has a go at him the film doesn’t portray him as the ’bad’ brother against Daniel’s ’good’ brother, he’s just trying to be realistic about their capabilities) and on many occasions he really doesn't know what to do, how to handle this massive community of people and it takes a dig in the ribs from someone else to face up to his responsibilities and make difficult decisions, sometimes right, sometimes wrong. The film doesn't pull any punches either with respect to their treatment of their non Jewish neighbours who they consider to have colluded with the Germans, however little: the Bielski's kills are shown in as much graphic detail as any battles with Nazis and another thing I liked was the community is clearly a real mishmash of such different people from very different backgrounds, there are selfish people, bullies, lazy people and general bastards in the camp just as in any community and the treatment of women in the camp is pretty sexist, many men treat the women as playthings to pass around.

There's a rough army of Russian fighters who also live in the forest and help the community out purely as a result of having the same enemy and who some of the Bielski community join as fighters but they ultimately see their Jewish “comrades” as lesser beings and their fighting as just being “good for a Jew!”.

It’s quite a slow film, there are big scenes of warfare of course but that’s not the main part of the film but I just really loved the way it showed survival as just putting one foot in front of the other, of not only being good fighters but also having to work with people you don’t like or have anything in common with and push yourself to do things you aren’t used to and just the desperation of spending so much time cold and hungry. I was amazed at the end that these people even managed to stay alive let alone have any energy left to fight the attacks made on them. Oh and Daniel’s wonderful in it (and Live too, a great portrayal of brothers), a bit of a waver in the accent at times but I totally forgive him because it breaks your heart to see his character trying so hard to be the big heroic figure which all these people need him to be! Great film, go see!

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Post by Daskedusken » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:43 pm

thanks for posting that long, good review
"Leben ist zeichnen ohne Radiergummi"

advicky
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Post by advicky » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:47 pm

Daniel Craig and director Edward Zwick shine in dark 'Defiance'
By Sean Meehan

This may come as a shock to you, but Daniel Craig stars in a movie this winter in which he's only shirtless once. That may or may not have blown your mind, but if it didn't, Edward Zwick's new film Defiance just might. Starring Craig and Liev Schreiber, Defiance is a fascinating true story of three Jewish brothers who escape from Nazi-occupied Poland to the Belarusian forest. Some may criticize the director for being overly conventional, but why try to distract from a great story by trying to reinvent the wheel?

Defiance follows the Bielski brothers, who escaped the Nazi occupation of Poland and set up in the woods of Belarus. While in hiding, the brothers decide to avenge those who have wronged them, and eldest brother Tuvia (Craig) even seeks the murderer of his parents. This proves to be a major turning point for Tuvia, and he determines that the best way for the brothers to defy the Nazis isn't to spill more blood but rather to save as many lives as possible. This puts Tuvia at odds with his brother Zus (Schreiber), who still believes in an eye for an eye. The brothers' once-small camp soon evolves into a haven for all exiled Jews. Zus decides he's tired of this path, so he joins the Russian contingent, abandoning the camp and leaving his brother with countless people to feed and protect. The story moves forward to detail the struggles and battles that erupt in the brothers' lives over the next several months.

One obvious difference between Defiance and films of similar subject matter is humor. In an interview with The Heights, Zwick pointed out that he intended to honor the Jewish humor that came out of that time period by emphasizing the manner in which these oppressed people managed to cope with being hunted. The laughs aren't uproarious, but sarcasm emerges in the dialogue between the brothers, making the characters more grounded.

From a technical and aesthetic perspective, Defiance shines. There's a great amount of imagery to experience in each shot, especially the contrast between the different seasons that the characters experience in the jungle. The lush and seemingly welcoming woods in the first several months slowly deteriorate and freeze over as winter inches closer, just as the relationships and health of the Bielski's camp decay. All of this builds up to a climactic gunfight, one of the best-edited battle sequences in recent memory. The cuts happen in a way that the scene never once feels like a montage of explosions but a completely fluid sequence. In many ways, Defiance is one of the most cinematic films of the year, even though the story mostly deals with the notion of nonviolence as resistance.

As usual, the film has a few minor flaws. Over two hours long, the audience occasionally gets lost. It's pretty clear that the director's vision was intended to be slightly longer, but it was decided that something needed to be cut.

Overall, with a powerful story, slick editing, and a host of imagery, Defiance is a worthwhile adventure for anyone interested in a different side of the Holocaust, or anyone who's looking to discover that Daniel Craig is actually quite a talented actor. A-

http://media.www.bcheights.com/media/st ... 6583.shtml





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advicky
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Post by advicky » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:52 pm

Movie Review
Defiance (2008)

By Owen Gleiberman

The old line on Holocaust dramas was that no film, regardless of how serious, could ever truly capture the horror. These days, you would have to look far and wide to find a Holocaust movie that even tries to capture the full, unimaginable horror. The subject may be survivor's guilt gone mad (Adam Resurrected), a mission impossible to assassinate Hitler (Valkyrie), or a death camp guard's Summer of '42 of sexiness and secret shame (The Reader), but in this season of grimly hooky Third Reich parables, it's hard to shake the feeling that the Holocaust has turned from the ultimate furrowed-brow movie theme into a genre, with its own built-in flowers-of-evil mystique. Rarely has genocide been put to the service of so much 
 unabashed...entertainment.

Remember that scene in Knocked Up where Seth Rogen's Ben said that he dug Munich because he finally got to see a film in which the Jews kicked ass? He would have loved Defiance even more. In this true story of a WWII siege met with courage under fire, 
 director Edward Zwick drops us into the Lipicza´nska Forest in Belorussia in 1941, just after the Nazis have 
 invaded. Daniel Craig, with his craggy squint of pain, and Liev Schreiber, all stocky, bottled rage, are Tuvia and Zus Bielski, who decide to save themselves with an innovative strategy: They fight back. The two have never killed anyone, but when Craig's Tuvia busts into the home of the officer who murdered his parents, what should have been a Michael Corleone-finds-his-inner-thug moment turns into something a bit more Hollywood, as he blows the guy away — and his two sons, to boot — without a tremor of doubt or anxiety. The film has barely begun, and Tuvia already looks like he's been doing this his whole life.

In the woods, the Bielski brothers offer protective cover to local Jews, and their roving camp becomes a scruffy exodus, growing in numbers each day. Tuvia, leading them to the promised land of safety, is meant to be Moses in a brown leather jacket — but really, he's more like Oskar Schindler and Charles Bronson in one grimly compassionate, fearless, Nazi-blasting package. Zwick offers excitingly staged moments, but once you get past the novelty of WWII Jews acting this heroically macho, Defiance bogs down in a not very well-developed script. It's a repetitive stop-and-start action film, and Tuvia and Zus don't have enough layers. 
 But they do kick ass charismatically.

As a professor drafted into the Nazi Party (despite his liberal ideals), Viggo Mortensen, in the tiny but worthy Good, does what may be his most fascinating acting. He reveals the soul 
 of an intellectual who's enlightened to 
 everything but where the lust for 
 absolute power leads. Good has a stagy fustiness, but it's worth seeing for Mortensen, who makes this study of 
 a "good German" look creepily contemporary. He shows us the horror of ignorance. B-

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20252492,00.html




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