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.
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
A young Jewish American flies to the Ukraine in search of his grandfather's past. He has a photograph and the name of a village. He hires the 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
When Jonathan, Alex, his grandfather and Lista meet by the river, the moon is full, but it was only three-quarters full the night before. However, this could have been a creative choice by the filmmakers to show that "everything is illuminated" in that scene. See more »
[after Alex asks why he collects family artifacts]
I don't know, why does anybody do anything? It's just... something to do.
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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 »
In Everything Is Illuminated, Elijah Wood plays Jonathan Foer, a Jewish American who is looking for the woman who saved his grandfather during WWII. In a sense, the woman that saved his entire family.
This is a heart-felt tale about someone who is on a seemingly hopeless journey. A stranger in a strange land so to speak. Jonathan is not entirely prepared for this adventure, he sticks out like a sore thumb in the Ukraine (he would probably stick out like a sore thumb anywhere). But what he discovers is more, much more than he anticipated. This movie will make you laugh and will make you cry. Elijah Wood is really good in this film, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.
From someone I talked to, this movie is somewhat different from the book. A book I gather is really good. Nevertheless, this is a good movie, it has something for everyone and I really enjoyed it. Can someone say Oscar?
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