Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Clayton Frohman (screenplay), Edward Zwick (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,824 ( 113)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Craig ... Tuvia Bielski
Liev Schreiber ... Zus Bielski
Jamie Bell ... Asael Bielski
Alexa Davalos ... Lilka Ticktin
Allan Corduner ... Shimon Haretz
Mark Feuerstein ... Isaac Malbin
Tomas Arana ... Ben Zion Gulkowitz
Jodhi May ... Tamara Skidelsky
Kate Fahy Kate Fahy ... Riva Reich
Iddo Goldberg ... Yitzhak Shulman
Iben Hjejle ... Bella
Martin Hancock ... Peretz Shorshaty
Ravil Isyanov ... Viktor Panchenko
Jacek Koman ... Konstanty 'Koscik' Kozlowski
George MacKay ... Aron Bielski
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Storyline

On the run and hiding in the deep forests of the then German-occupied Poland and Belorussia (World War II), the four Bielski brothers find the impossible task of foraging for food and weapons for their survival. They live, not only with the fear of discovery, contending with neighboring Soviet partisans and knowing whom to trust but also take the responsibility of looking after a large mass of fleeing Polish Jews from the German war machine. Women, men, children, the elderly and the young alike are all hiding in makeshift homes in the dark, cold and unforgiving forests in the darkest times of German-occupied Eastern Europe. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the director of Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The location for the birch woods in the film was found using Google Earth. See more »

Goofs

At 8:12 we see the mass graves with vertical sides and with dirt piled off to only one side. In WW2 mass graves were dug by hand with sloping sides and dirt piles along both sides. See more »

Quotes

Shamon Haretz: Merciful God, we commit our friends - Ben Zion and Krensky - to You. We have no more prayers, no more tears; we have run out of blood. Choose another people. We have paid for each of Your commandments; we have covered every stone and field with ashes. Sanctify another land. Choose another people. Teach them the deeds and the prophesies. Grant us but one more blessing: take back the gift of our holiness. Amen.
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Connections

Referenced in The Same Snowy Ground (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Oy, Pri Luzhku, Pri Luzhke
Traditional
Performed by Ravil Isyanov
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User Reviews

 
Great movie, light on facts
31 December 2008 | by eba-junkSee all my reviews

I enjoyed "Defiance" immensely -- there was humor and heartache, with a liberal dose of action. Not a brainless action movie, enough of a story to make it memorable, and fast-paced enough to keep me from becoming bored.

On the other hand, although the movie captures the spirit of the story, it is far from a documentary, and I'd have preferred a more historically accurate film. I'm biased, though -- I read the Peter Duffy book "Bielski Brothers" soon after it was released ("Defiance" is based on a different book), and I found the real story even more compelling than the Hollywood version.

Nonetheless, I live in the real world where directors have to shoot on a budget, and this was a good, diverting peek into a story that was long overdue to be told.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Defiance See more »

Filming Locations:

Lithuania

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,513, 4 January 2009

Gross USA:

$28,644,813

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,262,751
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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