DRAMA; 2hr 17min
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
The cold war: Craig
After the 1941 Nazi massacre of their Jewish parents in Belarus, the Bielski brothers (Craig, Schreiber and Bell as Tuvia, Zus and Asael) go into hiding in the forest near their farm. Battling through bleak beginnings, Tuvia spearheads a swelling community of displaced Jews with the credo, “Every day of freedom is like an act of faith.”
Their initially fragile alliance rallies and thrives, swelling to 1200-plus by the war’s end. But this history-inspired ordeal is no Swiss Family Robinson: survival lies in the ability to rebuild plank by plank while weathering personal differences, constant uncertainty and temperatures to freeze the fur off a polar bear. Thank God, then, for Craig, smouldering grimly from bad to worse as the steadfast core of energy who keeps the group together. One performance can’t lighten the punishing load of this grit-encrusted, Edward Zwick–directed marathon about the stubbornness of the survival instinct, but like the actual man he plays, Craig is a sinewy focus in the freezing doom and gloom.