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Defiance: New WWII picture

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by jimm, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Richard;
    Ends in Autumn of 1942 then? Pity-the Partisan war in Belarus was just heating up about then...Grenkevich describes the bloodletting behind the lines as "white hot" by the summer of 1943. Ah well-the "running, hiding, surviving.." phase is probably worth a half dozen films. It would be good if the filmmakers could do another film that follows the Bielskis into the final triumph at Operation Bagration...
    JeffinMNUSA
     
  2. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    This I am aware of, I just find people using inaccurate terminology rather irritating. To refer to the 'Soviets' as 'Russians' is a bit like calling all Americans 'Texans' (if not worse).
     
  3. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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  4. AmonMauser

    AmonMauser Dishonorably Discharged

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    -So then you must call all the Germans fighting in WWII Germans not Nazis. Anyone fighting for Russia in that era was a Soviet.
     
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Well, I agree with the qualification that there is nothing wrong with using the term 'Nazi' to refer to certain individuals, organisations, policies and so on, as well as certain actions driven by the same. Referring to 'Nazi forces' for example wouldn't be technically inaccurate since they are the 'forces of/belonging to the Nazis' whatever the political beliefs of the soldiers concerned.

    Incidentally, the phrase 'anyone fighting for Russia' is pretty flawed as I would have thought the Georgians fought for Georgia, Latvians fought for Latvia and so on, all of course fighting for the USSR.

    It's just worth being a little careful about accuracy of terminology, I'm not perfect and often make mistakes but I like to think I wouldn't be so crass as to talk about 'Texas landing on D-Day' or the war between 'Nazi Germany and Ohio' which is pretty much the same as talking about the war between 'Germany and Russia.'
     
  6. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    They do address this.
     
  7. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Wolfy;
    So....what did 25% to possibly 33% of the Belarussian population 41-44 die of? Well the majority of deaths did Definitely NOT come from military violence. "Disease and starvation" are pretty boring causes of death this is generally the medical fact. Consider that NAZI had destroyed the country's infrastructure, had genocide in mind from the first place, and were robbing the peasantry mercilessly from Barbarossa to Bagration.
    Red partisans showing up at the peasant hut demanding food? This does present some paradoxes!
    JEffinMNUSA
     
  8. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Jeff, what is your point?
     
  9. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    I was just pointing out that Defiance does talk about the Bielski's crimes of necessity. They execute their own people, rob the poor, and shoot captured enemies as well.
     
  10. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Stefan;
    My point is that it was a situation of desperation beyond our comprehension. As per Grenkevich and Slepyan the Partisan zones did set up their own food production systems, but still came to heavily rely on "donations" from the locals. Moscow flew in arms, explosives, and expertise period. How many of the hard pressed locals died of starvation and hunger related diseases? It is difficult to say and given the destruction and terror of the era it can probably never be known. After the war the official Soviet line was that the Jewish populations of the occupied zones had suffered no more than the general population. So 100% destruction is no different than 25-33%? "Riiight...Iosip Visarionovich!" This contributed greatly to the writer Vasily Grossman's nervous breakdown (I cannot recommend "Vasya's" writings enough! http://www.rbooks.co.uk/product.aspx?id=1845950151 )). The situation for the Jewish populations of the occupied territories was the worst of the worst. The Bielskis did what they had to do to survive and theirs' is the most remarkable story of the WWII era. But let's not sugar coat it.
    Partisanzchina!
    Пристрастный дух
    JeffinMNUSA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBbZA0ZQF6I&feature=related
     
  11. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Right, but Wolfy stated that the issue was addressed in the film but with no discussion of how, didn't quite get the relevance of repeating stuff we all already knew.
     
  12. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Stefan;
    Subject closed then? Now I have to get to the film-which is difficult because I have been dealing with the recent death of my father in law. What I would like to see next is a movie about the life and times of Vasily Grossman; A Writer At War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945 by Vasily Grossman, Edited and Translated by Anthony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova - books from rBooks.co.uk Another of the most compelling stories of WWII/GPW. Then maybe Belov's raid during the Moscow Battle. Then maybe another Bielski movie about Operation Bagration. Then maybe the story of Pliev's cavalry thrust during Operation Bagration. Then maybe something about the Polish Born Nobleman Rokossovski who was accounted one of the great architects of the Soviet Victory-even if he did have his teeth smashed out in the GULAG. Then maybe the story of the British Burma campaign and the great polyglot army commanded by the magnificent warrior General Slim (Last hurrah of the Empire!). Then maybe something about the espionage wars in South America (Had an Uncle everyone said was OSS involved in this one http://travel.webshots.com/album/65602408CbIGFR?vhost=travel ). Then maybe something about the noble but ill starred Draza Mihailovic in Yugoslavia. Then maybe...ah well-ALL KINDS of true life stories from that era and why did anyone ever think that they had to make anything up?
    JeffinMNUSA
    Update; Saw the flick and it was great-not historically correct in terms of "what exactly happened with the Bielskis during this period"?-but then again, a reasonably realistic portrayal of the grim realities of the Partisan War in Belarus 1941-42. The soundtrack is good (especially if you are partial to East European and Klezmir), the scenery striking, the characters compelling, the stories somehow genuine... and all in all it somehow "works". A flick well worth seeing.
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. The "Zus Bielski with the Red Partisans" episodes were "over the top" excellent, and Liev Shreiber gets a JeffinMNUSA oscar for this one; http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2009/01/16/unlikely_leaders_drive_a_wwii_drama/
    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/entertainment/Talking_to_Defiance_s_Liev_Schreiber_New_York.html
    PSS. A JEffinMNUSA Tolstoy award to the writers of "Defiance".
     
  13. Keystone Two-Eight

    Keystone Two-Eight Member

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    Dig in! i thought that was probably one of the best movies I've seen in the genre in quite a while. I liked that their wives didnt look like Jessica simpson and Kate Winslett, I liked that they kept the romance to a minimum and I really liked how they showed how the Jewish partisans were treated differently. Over all, I think it was a really good movie!
     
  14. biscuits

    biscuits Member

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    I got around to this one a couple of weeks ago, very enjoyable without knowing much about the actual history of this particular group as discussed at length in previous postings I found it gritty and overall very good, Daniel Craig is very good and shows he can actually act a bit rather than the James Bond automaton we usually see, I know that's where the money is but he should get back to more decent acting roles like this one.
    Couple of scenes were a bit suspect, in the last shoot out the Germans all seemed slow, lumbering, and even overweight unless it was my imagination? like comedy Germans of WWII movies of old, strange as they didn't look like that in any of the earlier scenes, but that's just a minor point, overall way more memorable than Valkyrie in all departments.
     
  15. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    The action scenes in this movie were terrible. I preferred Valkyrie as a film much more.
     
  16. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Wolfy;
    I assume you mean the final shootout where the Bielskis come slogging out of the marshes into a German ambush? Yep, that one yanked on my credibility chain a bit too hard...still all and all this is one of the best WWII films I have seen. The "Zus and the Reds shooting up the NAZI rear" scenes were quite good, though you would never know from this that German to Guerrilla casualties were generally disproportionate in favor of the Germans (10:1 in Greece, ?/? in Belarus with the unknown element being the numbers of Axis Allied and Quisling troops in the casualty counts).
    JeffinMNUSA
     
  17. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Apparently when people get shot, they don't bleed. Stuka bombs also don't cause a bloody mess when a bunker takes a direct hit either. Oh, a slight rise in a grassy area is enough to provide cover for 1200 people, most of whom don't have guns, against a German tank and German Infantry......otherwise, the rest of the movie was pretty good.
     
  18. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Grazi Signor Mussolini;
    ALSO-if you read the Bielski accounts the film bears little resemblance to what actually happened with them in '41-'42. Still-as an artistic reflection of the brutal realities of the guerrilla war in Belarus, this is quite excellent. The final shootout was a Ramboesque artistic liberty they could have skipped with me-but I am sure the general audiences loved it.
    JeffinMNUSA
    PS. Now if someone other than Spike Lee were to do a decent film about the Italiano Partisani!
     
  19. SteveM

    SteveM Member

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    It was a good movie and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Two caveats:

    I agree with what many of you have posted in regards to the battle scenes (more accurate representations would have been much better for most informed viewers and at the same time still appealed to a general audience).

    In addition, the director did not need to pound us over the head with so much symbolism (putting Daniel Craig on a white horse for example) - the facts speak for themselves.

    All in all, however, it was worth the money - hopefully there will be many more such pictures in the future. I am still rather pleasantly surprised Hollywood released two WWII movies in such close proximity and neither focused on the Anglo-American war against Germany. Maybe the movie producers have realized what we known for so long; there are some incredible stories to be told about what happened between Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.
     
  20. JeffinMNUSA

    JeffinMNUSA Member

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    Steve;
    I believe the figures go "five of six German KIA happened on the Eastern Front." The movies have yet to reflect this reality. The partisan wars in the occupied territories remain a closed subject in Mother Russia, spoken of only in the accounts of Western immigrants such as the Bielski brothers. Will the record ever be set straight? Well that really depends on RUSSIAN filmmakers...
    JeffinMNUSA
     

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