These days it is not hard to find a movie or novel pertaining to the horrors of WWII, rarely do these stories rise above the usual sob story and become something more uplifting. Such is the case of Defiance.
This film tells the true story of four Jewish brothers (three of which are played by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell, all turning in great performances) forced to flee to the forest after German soldiers attack their village. It first appears that this is going to be a simple story of revenge, but luckily it becomes something more. After their first night in the woods they are joined by another group of refugees, and their numbers continue to grow as the story progresses. Though there are a large number of obstacles: fighting amongst themselves, sickness, food shortages, being discovered, etc, even in the most discouraging moments hope somehow remains.
Though Defiance follows the tragic story of this makeshift community and what they must do in order to survive, it is never weighed down by the tragedy of it all. Instead it revels in the fact that these real heroes tried their best to protect a large group of ostracized citizens when they were unable to do so themselves.
Final Grade: B+
Side note – if you have not already, you should read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Yes, you might have to take a break because your tears get too dense to see through, but it’s worth it.