An analysis of the representation of Jewish resistance in the film Defiance [2008: Zwick] and aspects of its public reception as part of the holocaust narrative

Ziegler, Harry and Charlesworth, Diane (2014) An analysis of the representation of Jewish resistance in the film Defiance [2008: Zwick] and aspects of its public reception as part of the holocaust narrative. In: Anti-Fascism on Film, 20 Feb. 2014, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Defiance, directed by Edward Zwick and starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber as two of the Bielski brothers, was filmed and released between 2007 - 2009. The film generated a great deal of public debate over its contribution to the representation of Jewish identity and community in World War II/Holocaust narratives, and to notions of resistance, partisanship and collaboration. This paper aims to unpick some of these concerns regarding the construction of public and national memories of this period in current political contexts. It places the film’s construction of this story in the wider picture of filmic representations of Jewish Resistance and discusses film-as-a-medium’s contribution to popular understandings of history. In doing so, the paper considers how US/UK and continental European audiences may have decoded the characterisation of the Bielski brothers, embodied by Craig, Schreiber and Jamie Bell, given the actors’ image lexicons by that point.

Keywords:Jewish resistance, historical narrative, film, Defiance [2008: Zwick]
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V220 European History
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:14160
Deposited On:28 May 2014 20:37

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