Sunday, January 25, 2009

Change Your Destiny: Tony Robbins

"It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped." ~ Anthony Robbins 

This post is about a movie, based on a true story, where the people involved made decisions that literally SAVED their lives - their destiny was completely altered (or fulfilled, depending upon your belief system) by the decisions they made. Powerful stuff.

I have been meaning to write something about the movie I saw last Monday. I knew the minute I saw the trailer that I wanted to see "Defiance". I always see movies about the Holocaust...I lived in Germany as a child (what was West Germany at the time) and my father's good friend was an Auschwitz survivor. We visited Dachau and Anne Frank's house and those early experiences sparked something in me that made me want to learn more, to remember the Holocaust and the survivors and work towards educating people in whatever small ways that I can.

I thought the movie was very well cast, well acted and told a unique story about the Holocaust – a story about unlikely heroes, who by happenstance, saved about 1200 Jewish people from the Nazis in Belorussia. Four brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber, Jamie Bell and George McKay) escape to the forest to avoid capture by the encroaching Nazis. Their story is unique and true – based on the book, “Defiance: The Bielski Partisans” by Nechama Tec. I have not read the book, so I can’t speak to the film’s adherence to its original text.

I can say that Edward Zwick’s usual beautiful style is present here, but also elements that ring true for me. One thing I hate is when I am watching a movie about the Holocaust (or any movie that takes place outside of the U.S.) and anyone who would normally have an accent (to us) speaks with an English accent OR, half the people in the film speak with an accent and the famous U.S. actors (cough, Tom Cruise) have their usual American accent. This film does not do that. Are the accents authentic – I’m no expert, but they sounded good to me. Hearing an American accent in a film like this just yanks me out of the story.

One line that really stuck with me was said by Tuvia Bielski, Daniel Craig’s character: “Every day of freedom is an act of faith.” How apropos after this week in our country…to just stop and realize that we have SO MUCH…we have so much freedom that we take for granted every day. I like the reminder that freedom isn’t free – and I don’t mean that in the “Join the army” way. I just mean that we are the lucky recipients of hard-won rights and freedoms and it doesn’t hurt to remember that blood was spilled on our behalf – by soldiers, by civilians. We are incredibly lucky and maybe a little faith in humanity wouldn’t go amiss.

Anyway, off my soapbox. I just wanted to share thoughts on a good movie. I cried, I was moved. I became a Daniel Craig fan and I fell in love with Alexa Davalos and Mia Wasikowska (Lilka and Chaya). I have always loved Liev Schrieber. Enjoy the trailer here and there is a second, different one at

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