Friday, January 16, 2009

Review: 'Defience' is a Must see

I just returned from seeing the film 'Defiance', and lets just say that I have a different take on the film than they have over at the Crescent News Network (CNN).

Defiance is a great portrait of the partisan struggles in the forests of Eastern Europe during World War II. The film is the true story of the Bielski brothers who took to the forests and organized resistance against the Nazi's. They took in many Jews seeking protection and a place to ride out the war. at the end of the war, over 1,200 emerged from the Bielski camp deep in the forests to survive. There were two minor elements of the film that bothered me. One was when a character casually dismissed all ideologies by mentioning Fascism, Communism and... Zionism in the same sentence. That would never have been said by any partisan Jewish fighter at the time. Certainly, the Beilski brothers were ardent Zionists who at the end of World War II moved to Israel and fought in its war of independence. The leader, Tuvia Bielski, was a member of the Zionist youth movement and is buried on a mountain overlooking the city of Jerusalem. He was buried with full honors by the Israel Defense Forces. None of this was mentioned in the film. Only the fact that he drove a truck in New York for a while was mentioned at the end. Otherwise the film is riveting and explosive. It depicts a moral triumph at a time when the very idea of morality was seriously challenged. The characters, including the Bielski brothers themselves were imperfect people placed in unspeakable circumstances and emerged truly heroic. this is an important and MUST SEE FILM.

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