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My Ju-Ju-Be Collection

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Weekend DVD 1: Defiance (2008)

Freedom begins with an act of defiance!

A true story.

It's August 1941. The Jewish Bielski brothers - Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber), Asael (Jamie Bell), and Aron (George MacKay) escaped from the massacre of the German soldiers in their village where their parents and many other Jews were either killed or sent to concentration camps.

The four brothers hide in the Belarussian forests and soon, other runaway Jews join them. Tuvia the eldest begins to assume leadership among the survivors and builds a village/community. Zus wants to fight the Germans and he chooses to leave the community and join the Soviet partisans. Tuvia continues his role as caretaker to protect all new and surviving Jews in his village with his two younger brothers and fight for food and ammunition.

This is a very inspirational movie with a touchy topic: the Holocaust. Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell give us powerful, impressive, and provoking performance as the Bielski brothers. You could feel the pain, loss, and suffering caused by war and death among the survivors. You could feel their strong determination to continue surviving amidst hardship. Some of them are at the brink of losing their faith at some point of time. This is indeed a very touching and intense movie.

Moreover, the beauty of this movie also lies in its balanced and non-provocative approach to uncover mankind's past, and possibly the worst history of genocide ever. You won't be stirred up too much to hate the SS or the Russian partisans or the Jews or anyone. There's no ground to harbor hatred and revenge. All you want to see is the possibility to survive and nothing else.

The movie ends with this statement. "The Bielskis never sought recognition for what they did, and that the descendants of the people they saved now number in the tens of thousands." This is amazing.

Final verdict: Highly recommended.

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