(Julie Subrin)
Leon Wieseltier and Ed Zwick
Leon Wieseltier and Ed Zwick

Film director Ed Zwick and New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier’s friendship spans three decades, and has been animated by passionate exchanges about their lives and their work. When Zwick was shooting his latest feature, Defiance, in the forests of Lithuania, Wieseltier came to visit. Wieseltier even landed a part in the film about the Bielski brothers, who organized a rescue effort of Jews during World War II, though ultimately his role got cut.

Nextbook invited Zwick and Wieseltier into a studio so we could eavesdrop on their continuing conversation about the making of the film, about the Bielskis post-war life in America, and about what a film celebrating resistance might or might not be saying about those who did not fight back.

Defiance opens nationwide today.