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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 47,716 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 170 user | 111 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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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)
Edit

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

Jonathan Safran Foer:  appears as the leaf blower at the beginning of the film. See more »

Goofs

When the three run out of gas and camp outdoors, Jonathan briefly holds the photo of his grandfather and Augustine with both hands. Between shots, his hands are in different positions. See more »

Quotes

Alex: Please tell me, is the Shaq also the Jew?
Jonathan: Who?
Alex: The Shaqweel O'Neal, the Los Angeles Laker.
Jonathan: Uh, no.
Alex: And Michael Jackson?
Jonathan: [Scoffs] *No*, definitely not a Jew.
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

Dikiy Muzhchina
Written by Sergei Shnurov
Performed by Leningrad
Courtesy of S.B.A. Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
All in all a 10!
16 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What an original piece of work. I've always enjoyed Liev Schreiber the "actor", but now one must appreciate the man on a multi-dimensional level . How did he get that field of sunflowers? Was it computerize, it sure looked real. And how do you audition a dog knowing you are going to get that kind of performance? Does the academy have a category for animals? I guess what I'm saying is that I really, really enjoyed this quirky, offbeat, little indie film. From the excellent cast (one would never know Eugene Hutz was not a pro actor) to the cinematographer (some beautiful shots) the music (bought the CD when exiting the theater) and of course the two "D's" (direction and the DOG). All in all a "10".

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