ADHD Movie Review: Defiance

This post is written by a sophomore student who is part of my homeschool group. He watched the movie, Defiance, which details the struggles of a Jewish family who save others from the clutches of the Nazis and fight back. The young man who wrote this, DJ, told me, “This is a movie that every ADHDer should watch.” I then assigned him to make that case in writing. Please give him your feedback in the comments section.

Defiance is a movie about the Four Bielski Brothers, Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron and how they do the seemingly impossible. The four Bielski Brothers are on the run and hiding in the deep forests of German-occupied Poland and Belorussia. While they are hiding they must learn and teach other Jews how to forage for food and weapons so they can survive as a group. The four brothers along with the large group of fleeing Jews make a small village in the woods and hide in small makeshift huts in the cold, unforgiving forest. Tuvia, the eldest brother, takes the roll of camp leader and assigns everyone job in the camp. One of the other brothers Zus, goes to fight against the Germans when he gets tired of Tuvia’s rules and orders. Zus later joins the Russian Resistance, that believes Jews don’t fight back. Tuvia welcomes any survivor into his camps while Zus and the Russian resistance work to sabotage enemy posts, trains, and caravans. Later in the movie when winter time comes around Tuvia becomes ill with some lung sickness and battles to keep control of the camp. The camp is slowly falling apart as they are running out of food and more and more people are starving and becoming sick. When spring finally arrives, after a wretched and harsh winter, a woman becomes pregnant and later gives birth to a baby against Tuvia’s commands. This event is symbolic of how life flourished in this desperate situation. Soon after this joyous event, however, one morning Tuvia spots planes flying overhead and moments later the planes return to bomb the camp. After the bombing ceases, the armed infantry moves in to finish the job. The Jews and the brothers are pushed up against a swamp and are forced the swim across. When they get to the other side they are greeted by more armed infantry and tanks. After a hard fought battle, and many casualties, they manage to destroy the tanks and survive. They go on to survive many more years by living off the land. The film highlights the fact that many Jewish people did take up arms against the Germans and bravely resisted.

I think that anyone with ADHD would enjoy watching the movie Defiance because it keeps you constantly engaged; there is never a dull moment throughout the entire movie. The movie incorporates heartache, joy, and some humor and always kept changing so it was easy for me to keep paying attention. The movie’s fast-paced action prevented me from getting bored quickly or losing focus. I enjoyed how this movie was not a documentary but yet it told a true story; I thought that it told the story in a dramatic and in-depth way without making it a dry documentary. The movie told the story in a fast paced yet deep and memorable way.

I think that this movie is great for anyone with ADHD to view because while this movie keeps you engaged with tons of action it is also teaching you about a historic event, and sometimes for people with ADHD it is hard to learn about history through reading or listening to a teacher talk. Watching this movie offers an easier way to learn about historical events. And it doesn’t hurt that the title of the movie is DEFIANCE, because people ADHD are often naturally defiant, and so something really deep within us feels connected to this film. Defiance, as this movie shows, can sometimes be a good thing!

Further, I think that the Bielski brothers had a lot of traits that ADHD people commonly have. First of all, all three brothers seem very at home and comfortable in the woods. They are outdoorsmen, and seem more in their element in the outdoors, which is where most of the movie takes place. Also, the brothers, like many people with ADHD, are not afraid to take risks or to try new things. This is made obvious when the brothers attack a police station to disable radio communications, and when they attack German supply and communication lines. The Bielskis also seem to know how to perform under pressure, which is also true for a lot of people with ADHD, which is why jobs like emergency room doctors and demolition experts are very interesting to people with ADHD. Both the way the film is structured and the traits of the main characters make Defiance a movie that no person with ADHD will want to miss.

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I work from home and find that my daily default, for the first half of my day, is sitting in front of a computer screen.  I putz around answering emails, then get absorbed in a Facebook or LinkedIn post, and the surfing flurry goes on from there.  Many days, I am totally unproductive. Something about passively staring at a screen saps my energy, but I often seem unable to pull myself away.  As a writer and program developer, creativity is my currency, and time on the computer often leaves me feeling bankrupt.

One antidote to my Internet Disorder has been proving increasingly effective: getting out of the computer chair and simply doing something else.  While this may sound simplistic, it’s not easy for me.  Honestly, I am writing this blog more for myself than anyone else.  If I leave a written record online of my intention to “stop the Internet insanity,” I am more likely to follow through, if for no other reason than my deep sense of guilt.   And let me tell you, it is deep, a jagged chasm in my soul created from twelve years of Catholic school!
When I get out and do something completely different, I often return to the computer ready to use it for constructive purposes, like finishing my book, writing a blog, working on video scripts, and dozens of other positive pursuits.

If you are at all like me, take a few minutes now and write down a list of things, at least twenty, you need to do, or things you’ve been longing to do.  Here is my list that I am making up right now, so that it’s authentically in the moment.  I try to make up a list like this every day (some items carry over).

  1. Go to the Polish Market.
  2. Go to the café at the Detroit Institute of Arts .
  3. Take a 20-minute walk through the neighborhood.
  4. Run down and throw in a load of laundry.
  5. Iron the shirts in the laundry room that have been sitting there for three weeks.
  6. Do twenty push-ups.
  7. Make up and send invoices I have been putting off.
  8. Go to the drug store and buy toothpaste (which I have been out of for a week!).
  9. Make a list of workshop topics for 2016.
  10. Set dates for workshops for 2016.
  11. Go to the tile store to pick out bathroom tile.
  12. Call contractor about bathroom tear-out.
  13. Call Martin and ask his advice on hiring an assistant.
  14. Plan winter vacation now so that I can get better rates than my usual planning at the last minute.
  15. Drive to Tim Horton’s and get a latte.
  16. Take notebook into the yard and brainstorm on book project.
  17. Take five minutes to stretch using yoga postures.
  18. Write a thank-you note to friends who had me up to their summer home, and gave me REAL HUMAN INTERACTION.
  19. Spend ten minutes working in the yard (I HATE YARD WORK AND AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE).
  20. Spend ten minutes cleaning out my car, which is an absolute pit.

For the record, after number 18, I zoned out and went back on Facebook for a while until I realized, perhaps five minutes later, what I had done.  Take a few minutes now and make out your own list and follow it.  Comment on this blog and become part of a community of people who are all in this together, all trying to use the Internet to expand their potential instead of wasting it.  I cannot seem to do it by myself.  If you are having trouble in this area, don’t try to do it alone.  Tell a friend what you are up to and see if he or she will support you.  You may just need someone to check in with once or twice a week.  Make no mistake, for many of us spending too much unproductive time online is a serious problem that requires commitment, focus, and plenty of support.  Do not try to do it alone, but DO get your butt out of that chair, NOW!