Yesterday we kept up our New Years resolution by going to see Defiance.
Based on a true story this is the tale rarely told of Jews in Belarussia during the Second world War, how they suffered, how they fought, how they kept their important family and cultural ties together and survived. I am astounded that I have never heard of the name Tuvia Bielski before, I suppose had I been born a Jew I would have, but to me this story was one that was completely new to me and one that is both inspirational and upsetting.
While Tuvia’s older brother Zus leaves to join the underground red army and fight the Germans that way, Tuvia builds a community of safety in the forest for any Jew who wishes to join with them. Some arrive thinking it is a new land of milk and honey but soon discover the truth there is hunger, cold, illness and dissent, everyone has to help and turn their skills into ones that can help them get through until it is safe once more to live outside the forest canopy. The subject matter and story deserved and still deserves a better telling at times the film seems amateurish (in the worse sense) and as if someone either ran out of money or got tired of it. Even Daniel Craig and the story couldn’t save this film. However if you don’t know the story then it is probably worth seeing to hear the tale, but, wait for it to come out on DVD, or if you can find a book that does the story justice, read that instead!