Freedom begins with an act of defiance
Freedom begins with an act of defiance

D: Edward Zwick
Paramount Vantage/Bedford Falls (Edward Zwick & Pieter Jan Brugge)
USA 🇺🇸 2008
137 mins


W: Clayton Frohman & Edward Zwick [based on the book "Defiance: The Bielski Partisans" by Nechama Tec]
DP: Eduardo Serra
Ed: Steven Rosenblum
Mus: James Newton Howard

Daniel Craig (Tuvia Bielski), Liev Schreiber (Zus Bielski), Jamie Bell (Asiel Bielski) George MacKay (Aron Bielski), Mia Wasikowska (Chaya Dziencielsky), Iben Hjejle (Bella)

Taking a break from the James Bond film schedule, Daniel Craig takes the lead in this adaptation of a true story, set in WWII-torn Eastern Europe where a group of brothers escape nazi persecution in the remote woods, eventually providing a refuge for other Jewish survivors who uprise in an act of heroic defiance.
In a way, it's a shame that Hollywood sunk its claws into this story, glossing over the horrors of the holocaust in favour of a glamourised action vehicle for the A-list star.
Daniel Craig is miscast here, as is Liev Schreiber, whilst all other characters are completely underwritten so the focus is on the two feuding brothers, wrestling over leadership of the group.     
James Newton Howard's poignant music is an asset, but this could have been a much better film in the hands of the right production crew, or even as a foreign language feature, perhaps.