cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 04:43pm on 18/01/2009 under , ,
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] esrblog and I went to see "Defiance", Daniel Craig's latest movie about an interesting corner of World War II history. It's about two Jewish brothers in what is now called Belorussia who, after their parents were murdered by the Germans, formed a town in a nearby forest to take in and protect other Jews. The community, sometimes referred to as the Bielski partisans (after the brothers, Zus and Tuvia Bielski) or the Bielski otriad, lasted for over two years and, by the end, included approximately 1,200 Jews.

The movie wasn't bad, but it was highly romanticized, and thus departed substantially from the actual events involving the Bielski otriad. (It may be worth pointing out in this regard that Craig, who plays Tuvia Bielski, is blond, blue-eyed, and clean-shaven while the real Tuvia Bielski was dark-haired and sported a mustache.) So far as I know, for example, the Cain/Abel style rivalry and ideological disputes between Tuvia and Zus are entirely invented. In addition, a lot of the characters are rather cliched (there's an archetypal young Jewish intellectual, whose job before the purges was publishing a "pamphlet", a rabbi who spends most of his time arguing points of ethics with the intellectual, etc.)

So director Daniel Zwick's tale of the brothers is a fable. It's a violent fable, too, since the otriad members in the movie (as in real life) do a lot of killing to preserve their community. But it's a good fable, in that it emphasizes the importance of being prepared to fight to defend yourself, your family, and your way of life against people who are prepared to use guns and bombs to stop you.

There are better movies, and Zwick could have made this one a better movie by holding back on the romanticism. But just by making a movie about how a small number of people defended themselves from German tyranny, Zwick has given us a lot to think about, and that's a good thing.
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful

October

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
22 23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31