A film starring Daniel Craig about a Jewish underground resistance movement that took on the Nazis has prompted a storm of protest in Poland. Defiance, directed by Edward Zwick, which recently opened in Poland under the title Opor (resistance), has been booed at cinemas across the country and banned from others because of a local perception that it is a rewriting of history and anti-Polish.
Opponents say in its telling of the true story of the four Bielski brothers who fled the Nazis and set up a kibbutz-style secret village with hundreds of followers in a forest in what was then part of Poland, the filmmakers have, in true Hollywood style, simplified the facts, mythologised the group and omitted to address accusations that they ill-treated Polish locals and the underground home army.
It is an indisputable fact that the Bielskis' unit waged a campaign of armed resistance against the Nazis as well as providing a refuge for the old, weak and sick which saved 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust. But many Poles, particularly nationalists, continue to believe that the Bielskis' partisans also took part in a brutal 1943 attack led by Soviet partisans on the village of Naliboki in which 128 people were killed, despite historical investigations that have exonerated them.