Defiance movie poster
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Defiance movie poster

Defiance - Movie Synopsis & Plot

Based on an extraordinary true story, "Defiance" is an epic tale of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II. The year is 1941 and the Jews of Eastern Europe are being massacred by the thousands. Managing to escape certain death, three brothers take refuge in the dense surrounding woods they have known since childhood. There they begin their desperate battle against the Nazis. Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell star as brothers who turn a primitive struggle to survive into something far more consequential – a way to avenge the deaths of their loved ones by saving thousands of others.

At first it is all they can do to stay alive. But gradually, as whispers of their daring spreads, they begin to attract others – men and women, young and old – willing to risk everything for the sake of even a moment's freedom. Tuvia (Craig) is a reluctant leader and his decisions are challenged by his brother, Zus (Schreiber) who worries that Tuvia's idealistic plans will doom them all. Asael (Bell) is the youngest – caught between his brothers' fierce rivalry. As a brutal winter descends, they work to create a community, and to keep faith alive when all humanity appeared to be lost.

"Defiance" is directed by Edward Zwick ("Blood Diamond," "Glory") from a screenplay by Zwick and Clayton Frohman, based on Nechama Tec's non-fiction book of the same name. The producers are Zwick and Pieter Jan Brugge. The team recreating the forest haven includes two-time Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Eduardo Serra ("Blood Diamond," "Girl with a Pearl Earring"), production designer Dan Weil ("Blood Diamond," "The Bourne Identity") and Oscar®-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan ("Gosford Park," "A Room with a View").

MOVIE REVIEW

Defiance opened wide this weekend, and director Edward Zwick has to be shaking his head in disappointment. With the film officially released in 2008, Zwick - and the studio, Paramount Vantage - were clearly eyeing the movie - about the true story of a couple Belarussian brothers who decide to fight back against the Nazi's attempts to exterminate Jews - to be an awards contender. Critical reviews have been kind but not glowing, and Defiance was out of the race before it began. It's a shame, really, because Defiance is a pretty good movie.
Read our Defiance movie review »
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