Wednesday - January 28, 2009

Movies Showtimes Share

Rabbi Peter B. Schaktman
Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El

as told to Kerry Miller

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I saw it at the Dole Cannery and I saw it by myself.

Overall, what did you think?

I thought it was an educating film and very well done.

Defiance is based on the true story of the Bielski brothers, who formed a partisan group during World War II to rescue Jews from being killed by the Germans. Had you heard that story before? If so, do you feel the film relayed the story accurately?

I don’t actually know, exactly. I’ve read some things about the story.

Even without (knowing that much), you can tell the film was highly romanticized; it’s more Hollywood than it is historical. If it hadn’t been a true story it would have been a better movie.

What about the acting, did anyone stand out?

The acting was actually very good. I think Liev Schrieber and Daniel Craig did a very fine job.Again,it was Hollywood kind of acting; there was not a problem with the acting at all.

What is one of your favorite scenes and why?

I guess my favorite was the scene where the partisans are rolling through a bog. It’s a very clear reference to the parting of the Red Sea - they don’t think they can cross, they think the jig is up and a leader says “we can do this” and they manage to get through.

From its previews, Defiance looks to be somewhat violent.What was the level of violence?

There definitely was some violence. Early in the film there was some shocking violence. A family was killed; (it was) mostly revenge. The father is guilty of having killed the killer’s family.There’s nothing strategic about the killing-at the time; he only has four bullets and he uses three of them to kill the family. Part of the descent of the scene is how passionate the hatred is.

Would you buy this movie on DVD?

I would probably buy it on DVD as an educational resource,not for my own private viewing pleasure.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this movie?

I guess I’ll give it ★★★. I do want people to see it,for people who don’t know anything about this story.It is an important story to be told.

To whom would you recommend this movie?

Anyone interested in World War II, in heroic stories,anyone interested in the phenomenon of resistance to powerful oppressors.

What’s new?

The Kirk Kashmere Jewish Film Festival - we’re going to be showing many fine films in February, in conjunction with the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Doris Duke Theater. It’s a window into Jewish culture that we bring to Hawaii every year.It begins on Feb.15.It’s part of the Honolulu Academy of Arts listings.

You can find information at our website,, or the Honolulu Academy of Arts website.

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