IMDb > Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
Everything Is Illuminated
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Everything Is Illuminated (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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Everything Is Illuminated -- Based on the critically-acclaimed novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, "Everything is Illuminated" tells the story of a young man's quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather in a small Ukrainian town that was wiped off the map by the Nazi invasion.
Everything Is Illuminated -- 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 a local who speaks weirdly funny broken English.


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7.5/10   50,447 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Jonathan Safran Foer (novel)
Liev Schreiber (screenplay)
View company contact information for Everything Is Illuminated on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 October 2005 (USA) See more »
Leave Normal Behind.
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
7 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Sentimental Road Trip ThroughThe Impact of Eastern European History See more (174 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Eugene Hutz ... Alex

Elijah Wood ... Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer ... Leaf Blower
Jana Hrabetova ... Jonathan's Grandmother
Stephen Samudovsky ... Jonathan's Grandfather Safran

Ljubomir Dezera ... 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 ... Grandfather
Robert Chytil ... Breakdancer
Jaroslava Sochova ... Woman on Train
Sergei Ryabtsev ... Ukrainian Band Member (as Sergej Rjabcev)
Yuri Lemeshev ... Ukrainian Band Member (as Jurij Lemeshev)

Pamela Racine ... Ukrainian Band Member
Oleksandr Houtz ... Ukrainian Band Member
Ludmila Kartouska ... Hotel Waitress
Igor Latta ... Old Man at Fair
Eugenin Marandic ... Fair Goer
Orest Tkachuk ... Fair Goer (as Orest Tkachyk)
Elias Zerael Bauer ... Goatherder Boy
Jurij Kokyrc ... Well Digger
Sergej Kapitan ... Well Digger
Jaroslav Jurichkanc ... Well Digger
Igor Savivskij ... Well Digger
Jan Pavel Filipensky ... Well Digger
Bert Schneider ... Nazi Officer
Tereza Veselkova ... Augustine

Laryssa Lauret ... Lista
Lukas Kral ... Young Grandfather, Baruch
Vera Sindelarova ... Young Lista

Directed by
Liev Schreiber 
Writing credits
Jonathan Safran Foer (novel)

Liev Schreiber (screenplay)

Produced by
Kelley Cribben .... associate producer
Tom Karnowski .... co-producer
David Minkowski .... co-producer
Peter Saraf .... producer
Matthew Stillman .... executive producer
Marc Turtletaub .... producer
Original Music by
Paul Cantelon 
Cinematography by
Matthew Libatique 
Film Editing by
Andrew Marcus 
Craig McKay 
Casting by
Avy Kaufman 
Production Design by
Mark Geraghty 
Art Direction by
Martin Vackár 
Set Decoration by
Johnny Byrne 
Costume Design by
Michael Clancy 
Makeup Department
Georgina Abanto .... key hair stylist
Georgina Abanto .... key makeup artist
Tomás Kuchta .... special makeup
Veronika Riehs .... makeup assistant
Lucie Vybiralova .... hair stylist
Production Management
Kelley Cribben .... post-production supervisor
Tom Karnowski .... unit production manager
Ravi D. Mehta .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jakub Dvorak .... second assistant director
Helena Frankova .... second second assistant director
Jude Gorjanc .... first assistant director: New York
Jan Mensík .... first assistant director
Maggie Murphy .... first assistant director
Kieron Phipps .... first assistant director (as Kieron A. Phipps)
Amanda Taylor .... key second assistant director: New York
Art Department
Kasia Adamik .... storyboard artist
Elizabeth Colomba .... storyboard artist
Frantisek Copf .... assistant model maker
Jiri Fleischer .... property master
Vladimir Pavlu .... standby construction
Stanislav Suva .... scenic artist
Michal Svoboda .... set dresser
Adam Trachtman .... graphic artist
Petra Trachtmanova .... co-set decorator
Kurt Van Der Basch .... storyboard artist (as Kurt van der Basch)
David Vondrasek .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Dave Bihldorff .... sound re-recordist
Rick Chefalas .... first assistant sound editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
André Dias .... dubbing editor
André Dias .... dubbing mixer
Kenna Doeringer .... adr editor
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
Petr Forejt .... production sound mixer
Lawrence Herman .... sound editorial intern
Bobby Johanson .... adr mixer
Branka Mrkic .... dialogue editor (as Branka Mrkic-Tana)
Igor Nikolic .... assistant sound editor
Sarah Jean Porter .... apprentice sound editor (as Sarah Porter)
Roman Rigo .... boom operator
Brian Seagrave .... audio conform
Wyatt Sprague .... sound effects editor
Paul Urmson .... sound designer
Paul Urmson .... supervising sound editor
Steven Visscher .... supervising foley editor (as Steve Visscher)
Deborah Wallach .... adr supervisor
Special Effects by
Jirí Vojtech .... special effects crew
Visual Effects by
Roland Friedrich .... Inferno artist
Miro Gal .... Inferno artist
Maros Kesjar .... compositor
Helena Keslova .... Flame artist
Vladimir Koller .... compositor
Vít Komrzý .... visual effects producer
Robert Loudil .... compositor
Zdenek Machuta .... compositor
Jay Mallet .... motion control cameraman
Vladimír Matousek .... compositor
Robert Pik .... Inferno artist
Robert Pik .... compositor
Jim Rider .... motion control cameraman
Jirí Sabata .... Flame artist
Amit Sethi .... digital artist: titles
Rasto Simocko .... Flame artist
Jiri Stamfest .... matte artist
Ondrej Stibinger .... telecine colorist dailies
Mike Trinker .... digital intermediate editor
Jan Vseticek .... visual effects coordinator
David Vána .... visual effects supervisor
Andrea Kinsky .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Václav Cermak .... gaffer
Milan Chadima .... director of photography: second unit
Lamont Crawford .... key grip: New York
Magela Crosignani .... camera operator
Neil Davidson .... still photographer
Ingo Gardner .... balloon light technician
Jiri Gazda .... dolly grip
Ivo Gresak .... key grip
Marek Havel .... assistant camera
Jarda Hromadka .... best boy
Ladislav Hruby .... first assistant camera
Vaclav Kares .... camera loader
Pavel Kurak .... first assistant camera: "a" camera, splinter unit
Viktor Lonek .... video assist operator
John J. Moers .... director of photography: documentary crew
Frantisek Novák .... first assistant camera
Miroslav Pavlik .... second assistant camera
Carsten Thoms .... balloon light technician
Mark McDevitt .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Animation Department
J. John Corbett .... animator: titles
Casting Department
Nancy Bishop .... casting: Prague
Max Bollinger .... casting: Russia, Ukraine
Jessica Daniels .... casting associate
Jirí Hrstka .... extras casting
Noelle Trkulja .... casting assistant: Prague
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gabriela Horská .... assistant costume designer
Patricie Soptenková .... personal costumer: Elijah Wood
Patricie Soptenková .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Ernest Leif Boyd .... assistant editor
John Crowley .... digital intermediate colorist
Kate Eales .... associate editor
Conor Guy .... assistant editor
Attila Kovacs .... assistant editor
Beth Moran .... assistant editor
Matthew Reedy .... digital intermediate producer
Corey Stewart .... digital intermediate engineer
Franklin Vargas .... digital colorist assist (as Frankie Vargas)
Location Management
Petr Skvor .... location manager
Music Department
Nancy Allen .... music editor
John Carbonara .... assistant music editor
Gary Chester .... music engineer
Gary Chester .... score mixer
Brian Deming .... additional music mixer
Tony Finno .... music preparation
Eric V. Hachikian .... assistant orchestrator (as Eric Hachikian)
Susan Jacobs .... music supervisor
Richard King .... additional music mixer
Wolfram Koessel .... music contractor
Sonny Kompanek .... orchestrator
Annette Kudrak .... additional music editor
Jack Livesey .... composer: additional music
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Matt Rocker .... music programing: score
Seth Rothschild .... assistant music supervisor
Derek Somaru .... apprentice music editor (as Derek P. Somaru)
Ted Sperling .... conductor
Michael Sackler-Berner .... assistant music supervisor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jiri Fleischer .... picture cars coordinator
Silvie Janculová .... unit transportation coordinator
Lada Vacik .... driver: camera truck
Pavel Voracek .... unit transportation coordinator
Other crew
Judy Aley .... researcher: archival photos (as Judith Aley)
David Allsberry .... assistant animal trainer
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer (as Randy Balsmeyer)
Lauren Barnhart .... assistant to director
George Bunce .... 2K conform
Mandy Butler .... production accountant
Emma Cooper .... unit publicist
J. John Corbett .... title designer
William Cusick .... intern
Michael Fitzgerald .... office intern
Jennifer Zolten Freed .... post-production accountant
Lubomir Janci .... stand-in: Young Grandfather
Vladimir Kesl .... computer technician
Tomas Kreisl .... cashier
Yana Collins Lehman .... post-production accountant
Sandy Lizaola-Hernandez .... physical production coordinator
Boone Narr .... animal trainer
Zack Neuman .... office intern
Lenka Pavlakova .... assistant production coordinator
Nada Pinter .... script supervisor
Sara Pollack .... assistant to producer
Victor Quinaz .... assistant to the director: Liev Schreiber
Justin Ritson .... key production assistant: New York unit
Lucie Ryan .... assistant to director
Justin Hamilton Salem .... key set production assistant
Julie Shevach .... title producer
Katerina Silna .... production coordinator
Jiri Tichacek .... production accountant: Czech Republic
Goran Uljanic .... assistant production coordinator
Peter Ziak .... assistant accountant
Anna Martemucci .... assistant to producers (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language
106 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Brazil:14 | Canada:14+ (Ontario) | Finland:K-11 | Germany:12 | Iceland:12 | Ireland:12A | Mexico:B15 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:NC-16 (DVD rating) | South Korea:15 | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12A | USA:PG-13 (certificate #41916)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Eugene Hutz's band Gogol Bordello appears as the polka band that greets Elijah Wood at the train station.See more »
Factual errors: In the credits for the song "Start Wearing Purple," Eugene Hutz's band is credited as both "'Gogol Bordello'" (correct spelling) and "Gogol Bodello" (incorrect spelling, dropped "r").See more »
[after an old man gives them directions, Jonathan hands him a pack of cigarettes]
Alex:What are you doing?
Jonathan:For helping us.
Jonathan:Well, I read in my guidebook that you can't find Marlboro cigarettes here so you should take them everywhere as tips.
Grandfather:[In Ukrainian]
[to the man]
Grandfather:He doesn't eat meat.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Operation Filmmaker (2007)See more »
Fear of the SouthSee more »


Who is the dedication to at the end of the movie? Alex 1993
See more »
62 out of 75 people found the following review useful.
A Sentimental Road Trip ThroughThe Impact of Eastern European History, 6 October 2005
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

"Everything is Illuminated" is a simplified interpretation of something more than half of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel. This version is more about changes in Eastern Europe from World War II through post-Cold War and how the younger generation relates to that history as a family memory.

Debut director/adapter Liev Schreiber retains some of the humor and language clashes of the novel, mostly through the marvelous Eugene Hutz as the U.S.-beguiled Ukrainian tour guide. He is so eye-catching that the film becomes more his odyssey into his country and his family as he goes from his comfortable milieu in sophisticated Odessa to the heart of a cynical, isolated land that has been ravaged by conquerors through the Communists and now capitalists, with both Jews and non-Jews as detritus. As funny as his opening scenes are when he establishes his cheeky bravura, we later feel his fish-out-of-waterness in his own country when he tries to ask directions of local yokels.

Shreiber uses Elijah Wood, as the American tourist, as an up tight cog in a visual panoply, as his character is less verbal than as one of the narrators in the book. He and Hutz play off each other well until the conclusion that becomes more sentimental in this streamlined plot. Once the grandfather's story takes over in the last quarter of the film, marvelously and unpredictably enacted by Boris Leskin, the younger generation does not seem to undergo any catharsis, as they just tidy up the closure.

Schreiber does a wonderful job visualizing the human urge to document history. One of his consultants in the credits is Professor Yaffa Eliach and her style of remembering pre-Holocaust shtetl life through artifacts clearly inspired the look and it is very powerful and effective.

The Czech Republic stands in for the Ukraine and the production design staff were able to find memorable symbols of change in the cities, towns and countryside, as this is now primarily a road movie, and the long driving scenes do drag a bit. Schreiber retains some of the symbolism from the book, particularly of the moon and river, but having cut out the portions of the book that explain those, they just look pretty or ominous for atmosphere and no longer represent time and fate.

As W.C. Fields would have predicted, the dog steals most of his scenes for easy laughs. In general, Schreiber does go for more poignancy than the book. It is irresistibly touching, especially for those who haven't read the book, but less morally and emotionally messy.

The film is enormously uplifted by its marvelous soundtrack, which ranges from songs and instrumentals from Hutz's gypsy band to traditional tunes to contemporary tracks to Paul Cantelon's klezmer fusion score.

This is not a Holocaust film per se, being a kind of mirror image of "The Train of Life (Train de vie)" as about memory of a time that is freighted with meaning now, but will resonate more with those who have an emotional connection to that history.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Everything Is Illuminated (2005)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Only a 7.7/10? ryans_olson
Should there have been subtitles during the russian parts? weeds484
Why does Augusta's sister wash so many bed sheets? gvereb1
Who is the man who did not die? (spoiler alert) Cynthia-Kinman
Stereotypes & the airport scene wiebe-bor
Elijah Wood... killer_keith199
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