Defiance

Defiance

Cast: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos
Dir: Edward Zwick
Rating: 4/5

Based on the extraordinary true, and slightly forgotten story, of the Second World War, Defiance follows the Bielski brothers - three young, Jewish, working-class farmers from the remote countryside of Belarus, Daniel Craig (Tuvia), Liev Schriber (Zus) and Jamie Bell (Asael).

On the run from the Germans and the local police the brothers hide out deep in the forest. Their numbers swell as more and more refugees join them, coming together to form a community while also patrolling with guns and shooting the enemy to stay alive.

But Tuvia and Zus have a falling-out over what future direction to take: Tuvia thinks it best to remain in the forest despite the coming vicious winter, but Zus wants to join the Russian resistance, which is aggressively attacking the Nazis.

As food grows scarce, diseases increase, and the Nazis become determined to find and kill them, the Bielski Otriad struggles to survive, battling back when necessary, including taking up arms.

Many stories of bravery and survival have emerged years after the war but that of the Bielski brothers has, for the most part, gone underneath the radar with the brothers not wanting any thanks or recognition for protecting all those people over three years.

This is a remarkable true story of courage and survival as the brothers fought oppression from the Nazis.

Shot in Lithuania defiance is a touching and dramatic wartime tale as the bonds of brotherhood are put the test and stretched in every which way as they try to keep themselves and everyone else alive.

Daniel Craig gets to flex his acting muscles and show everyone that there's more to him than the suave, sophistication and action sequences of the James Bond franchise that has propelled him to worldwide fame and acclaim.

And he is fabulously supported by Liev Schreiber as Zus who, unlike his older brother Tuvia, isn't content with hiding from the Germans and wants to take them on instead. And Jamie Bell who is building up a great portfolio of varied roles.

With The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond under his belt filmmaker Ed Zwick is the perfect choice to take on this story. While, at times, the gunplay takes centre stage it is a movie that is treated with the upmost respect.

While it is classed as a war film the fighting between the two sides is kept to a minimum, which may be disappointing for many, which really works for the story as it's one of a war between family as everyone fights to survive.

Defiance is out on DVD 18th May

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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