Compelling True Story
Release Date: December 28, 2008
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 137 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Vantage/Viacom
Director: Edward Zwick
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Pieter Jan Brugge and Edward Zwick
Writer: Clayton Frohman and Edward Zwick
Address Comments To:Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO, Viacom
Nicolas Meyer and Nick Meyer, President
(aka Paramount Classics)
A Division of Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 956-2000; Fax: (323) 862-1212
Tuvia continues to rescue refugee Jews until the community numbers in the hundreds. Despite illness, a bitterly harsh winter and internal strife, the community continues to thrive and ultimately leads over 1,200 people to safety after the war.
This remarkable story of courage is well made and well acted, especially by Daniel Craig and Live Schreiber as the two main brothers. While the story relies much on plot, the movie has a profound emotional depth as the characters endure continual hardship.
DEFIANCE does drag a bit, however, and could have been trimmed to keep the pace more active. The underscore is compelling.
DEFIANCE has a message of faith with a strong biblical worldview. The community stops seeking revenge and instead decides that to live free from the Nazis is itself an act of faith. The Jewish community at times loses their focus on God. At a funeral one character prays, “God, choose another people.” However, the professor who becomes the village rabbi says in the end that he almost lost his faith in God when they fled to the forest, but he now knows that Tuvia was sent by God to save them.
There is a mix of some humanist elements. As the community flees from the Germans they must wade through waist high water, and they comment that God isn’t going to part the water like he did for Moses, so they have to do it themselves.
As the community is built, the people celebrate a marriage and a baby being born. They learn to set aside differences and work together.
Being a movie set in a war, there is much violence, though the violence is not overly gory or glorified. Many are killed on screen in battle and in close up skirmishes. There is foul language and a scene of implied sexual relations by an unmarried couple.
With caution for children and other sensitive viewers, DEFIANCE is an emotional, moving true story of faith and courage in the midst of trying circumstances.
This remarkable story of courage is well made and well acted, especially by Daniel Craig and Live Schreiber as the two main brothers. The story has a profound emotional depth as the characters endure continual hardship. DEFIANCE also has a message of faith with a very strong moral worldview. A character says that he almost lost his faith in God when they fled to the forest but he now knows that Tuvia was sent by God to save them. The movie’s wartime violence, brief foul language and implied sexual content require caution.