Defiance’ worth the price

by Checlee CheersStaff Writer

Defiance, based on a true story, tells of four Jewish brothers, Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron, who band together to escape the Nazi invasion of Poland.

While hiding in the Belarussian forests after the murder of their parents, the brothers encounter a number of Jewish people attempting to flee to safety.

Tuvia, the oldest of the brothers played by Daniel Craig, accepts the duty of caring for the Polish refugees. By forming the Bielski Otriad during the fall of 1941, which employed strict rules of work and equality for both men and women, Tuvia, with the help of his brothers, forms a sanctuary for displaced Jews.

Eventually, Zus, jealous of Tuvia’s success as leader of the camp, decides to join the Russian October Otriad, known for using brutal war tactics to fend off German invaders.

When the Bielski Otriad encounters a bout of serious illness, Zus reunites with his brother, Tuvia, to take medicine from a nearby German camp.

Although they barely escape, the experience shows the brothers how much they are able to accomplish when they work together, versus against each other.

Despite each brother returning to their respective camps, their bond is recharged and becomes motivation for the events to come.

Defiance continues through a series of twists and turns, leading into the spring and summer months of 1942.

Against all odds, the Bielski Otriad has become a successful society which has learned to work together to maintain freedom and survival. Eventually, the Otriad is invaded by the German Army; an event which leaves the young and strong behind to fight, and the old and weak to flee further into the forests.

While under attack, Zus returns, with a band of Russian soldiers, to help defend his brothers and the Bielski Otriad. Thankfully, the Otriad is able to escape the German troops and find refuge in the forest for another two years.

By the end of the war, the Bielski Otriade community had built a school, hospital and nursery, allowing 1,200 Jews to grow and prosper until being able to return to Poland.

The two oldest brothers, Tuvia and Zus, immigrated to America where they owned their own business and lived peacefully in New York until the time of their deaths.

Not only does this story show the ability of people to overcome the most rigid of obstacles, it also presents a heartwarming story of brotherhood, community and loyalty.

Defiance was a true representation of the battles fought by the Jewish people during the rule of Nazi Germany. Their struggles and hardships have been recorded perhaps not only to teach us a lesson, but to give a glimmer of light in a world which seems hopeless. With the perseverance of a few, many were able to be saved.

Thanks to the leadership of the Bielski brothers, the survivors in the Bielski Otriad have tens of thousands of desendants who would otherwise not be alive today.

This movie is worth absolutely every minute of its almost two-and-a-half-hour duration. Not only is it a story which will capture your mind, but it will capture your heart as well.

I give my firm encouragement to see this film. It will leave you with a true sense of happiness and faith in the sometimes questionable human race.