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Director: Edward Zwick
Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell,
Edward Zwick, the creative force behind emotional action hits like Blood Diamond and Glory, scores again with this true, WWII story of human compassion and survival. The story is engaging, but lacks the impact that such a spectacular story should have. The direction is skilled, if a little uninspired, and the acting is solid, though Daniel Craig seems too detached in the lead role of the strong soft-spoken leader of a rag tag group of Jews trying to survive in Nazi-occupied Belaruss.
Daniel Craig, Live Schreiber and Jamie Bell play three Jewish brothers who take to the woods to hide from Nazis and their collaborators, after their country falls to the German war machine. Surviving indefinitely in the woods would seem a tricky enough business, but it gets a lot more difficult as more and more Jews join them in a bid for escape from the Jewish ghetto. Keeping their location secret from the enemy, while managing to provide food and supplies would be challenging enough, even without the group infighting that emerges.
Defiance, which plays kind of like Schindler’s List crossed with Red Dawn, has a fascinating story to tell, and tells it well, but it is both surprising, and a little disappointing, that Zwick didn’t manage to create the powerful impact common to this genre, especially since he has conjured up such emotion in many of his previous projects. This is still a very good film, however, that will hold particular interest for history buffs.
Defiance – movie quotes:
“The only thing the Jewish people value more than peace is our right to exist”
Movie lines from Defiance