Defiance

We saw Defiance last night…what a powerful movie!

Yes, it’s violent–extremely violent. Unfortunately the violence was integral to the story–of our inhumanity towards each other.

It’s a true story–a story of Jewish survival during the Holocaust. But it’s more than that. It starts out as a simple story of survival–of three brothers who are not outstanding citizens of the community, but who survive the destruction of their village…and are determined to survive in the woods they are familiar with. As they begin their effort, they are joined by more and more Jews who are fleeing to a place of safety–and the story becomes more.

It’s a story of how a group of hunted people from all walks of life became a community. Living in conditions I can’t even imagine…constantly fearful of being discovered…faced with the prospect of having to flee at a moment’s notice…surrounded by enemies determined to exterminate them…they still came to understand the importance of pulling together into a community–of maintaining their humanity.

There are moments of humor…moments of pathos…times of faith questioning and arguing with God…and yet ultimately this is a movie that bears testimony of the will to survive that despite the worst we do to each other–and the incredible importance of community.