Saturday, January 17, 2009


Since I’m trying to watch all the films nominated at the Golden Globes I decided to watch this film based on true-life WWII events. Cannot say that it’s a remarkable movie, but have to admit that tells a remarkable story as there are not many movies that does not portrait Jews as victims. As a matter of fact I cannot recall one that portraits Jews fighting back the Germans, consequently this is the very first one I see.

Based on Nechama Tec book Defiance: the Bielski Partisans tells the story of four brothers that after the Germans kill their parents they try their best to survive and get into the forest only to find hundreds of Jews also hiding in the forest. So, unwillingly the Bielski brothers and especially Truvia (Daniel Craig) becomes their leader and they organize a mobile community that constructs several camps until the war finally ends and most are able to survive.

Since I was watching I had the impression that director Edward Zwick took many artistic liberties, so was no surprise to find the many controversies the film aroused especially in the countries where the real-life events happened: Poland and Belarus. I found that there are many situations that simply do not add up in the storytelling making some scenes totally unbelievable; so do not expect a history lesson, as definitively this movie is not.

Still is entertaining especially after they start to build the first camp, as before that moment I find that there are too many clichés and terrible dialogues that do not help at all performances by well know actors like Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell.

The movie got a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score, but honestly I did not recorded any music in my mind; but what I really recorded and was able to enjoy in this movie is the fantastic cinematography with outstanding views of the real Lithuanian forest where the film was shot. Spectacular cinematography and lighting totally makes the forest to become alive in the screen. Fantastic!

Not a masterpiece but an entertaining movie with an interesting and unusual Jewish story of survival.


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