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Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  14 October 2005 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 48,372 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 172 user | 113 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Leaf Blower
Jana Hrabetova ...
Jonathan's Grandmother
Stephen Samudovsky ...
Jonathan's Grandfather Safran
...
Young Jonathan
Oleksandr Choroshko ...
Alexander Perchov, Father
Gil Kazimirov ...
Igor
Zuzana Hodkova ...
Alex's Mother
Mikki ...
Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Mouse ...
Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Boris Leskin ...
Robert Chytil ...
Breakdancer
Jaroslava Sochova ...
Woman on Train
Sergei Ryabtsev ...
Ukrainian Band Member (as Sergej Rjabcev)
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Storyline

A young Jewish American flies to Ukraine in search of his grandfather's past. He has a photograph and the name of a village. He hires Odessa Heritage Tours, made up of a gruff old man and his English-speaking grandson. The three, plus grandfather's deranged dog, travel in an old car from Odessa into Ukraine's heart. Jonathan, the American, is a collector, putting things he finds into small plastic bags, so he will remember. Alex, the interpreter, is an archetypal wild and crazy guy. Alex asks the old man, "Was there anti-Semitism in the Ukraine before the war?" Will they find the village? The past illuminates everything. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Leave Normal Behind.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

14 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Collector  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$66,806 (USA) (16 September 2005)

Gross:

$1,705,595 (USA) (25 November 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The blue car used throughout the movie is a Trabant 601 Kombi/Estate. See more »

Goofs

Francis Scott Key is credited for the "Star Spangled Banner". The composer, John Stafford Smith (1750-1836), should have been given credit rather than Key who was the lyricist. In the movie, the performance is played by a band and no lyrics are heard. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan: [after Alex asks why he collects family artifacts] I don't know, why does anybody do anything? It's just... something to do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Several songs are credited to the New York punk/Gypsy/Jewish klezmer band, Gogol Bordello, which is led by Eugene Hutz, who plays Alex in the film (the same band greets Jonathan when he arrives on the train). The last of these songs, "Start Wearing Purple (For Me Now)," which plays over the end credits, is credited to both a correct spelling (Gogol Bordello), dg and Gogol Bodello, an incorrect spelling. See more »

Connections

References Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Bublitschki
Traditional
Performed by Gogol Bordello
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A young man follows his roots to Ukraine
3 September 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

I just saw "Everything is Illuminated" at the Telluride Film Festival. This is a truly remarkable film. Very emotional, funny at times and heart-warming. Bring your handkerchiefs! For those of you who enjoy a movie that brings tears to your eyes, I'm reminded of the endings of "Babette's Feast" and "The Notebook." The stories were completely different but had that same emotional power to bring tears to my eyes, just as this film did.

No spoilers here. The summary is, as IMDb describes, a young man's journey to the Ukraine to follow his roots and find the village where his father grew up.

The dialog is in English and Ukrainian (and Russian too, I believe). This allows for some wonderfully linguistically-based moments as one character interprets, more or less faithfully, for the English speaker in the group, depending on the circumstances.

The scenery is wonderful and the musical score is a treat with wonderful Eastern European influences. Be sure you stay through the credits for the final tune.

This is Lieve Schreiber's directorial debut and is well done. I give this film a 9, one of the best films I've seen in a long time. I recommend it highly.


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