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 -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   43,732 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Jonathan Safran Foer (novel)
Liev Schreiber (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Everything Is Illuminated on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 September 2005 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Leave Normal Behind.
Plot:
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:
Awards:
6 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(91 articles)
User Reviews:
Review from 2005 TIFF See more (170 total) »

Cast

  (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
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Directed by
Liev Schreiber 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
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
Jiri Fleischer .... property master
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
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
 
Stunts
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
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 .... 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)
 
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
Petr Skvor .... location manager
Jiri Tichacek .... production accountant: Czech Republic
Goran Uljanic .... assistant production coordinator
Peter Ziak .... assistant accountant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for disturbing images/violence, sexual content and language
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
Eugene Hutz's band Gogol Bordello appears as the polka band that greets Elijah Wood at the train station.See more »
Goofs:
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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
References Saturday Night Fever (1977)See more »
Soundtrack:
Hittin' BricksSee more »

FAQ

Who is the dedication to at the end of the movie? Alex 1993
See more »
221 out of 251 people found the following review useful.
Review from 2005 TIFF, 13 September 2005
Author: Richard from Toronto

I saw this movie at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival.

Based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated is the directorial debut of actor Liev Schreiber. Schreiber also wrote the screenplay. In the movie, Jonathan (Elijah Wood) obsessively collects items from his family, from toothbrushes to retainers to scraps of paper which he then seals in ziploc bags and pins to a wall in his house to record his family history. But the space for his grandfather is conspicuously bare. All Jonathan really has of him is a piece of jewelry and an old photo of him with a woman who hid him from the Nazis during the Second World War. Jonathan decides to undertake a quest to Ukraine to find the woman, thank her, and learn more about his grandfather.

His quest is aided there by a couple of characters who run a tourist company for Jewish people, including a young man obsessed with western culture (Eugene Hutz), his grandfather (Boris Leskin), who thinks he is blind and who may have memories and demons of his own from the war, and his grandfather's temperamental seeing eye dog.

The screenplay effectively combines both humour and drama as the three characters travel through the countryside looking for Jonathan's grandfather's town, driving deeper and deeper into the memories of the past. The best performance probably comes from Eugene Hutz, playing Alex Jr., who starts the movie as a tracksuit-wearing, break dancing slacker just out to have fun but evolves into something more as not only Jonathan, but all the characters gain their own illumination.

Liev Schreiber, Elijah Wood, and Eugene Hutz attended the screening and did a very humorous Q&A after the film:

- Schreiber was very close to his grandfather, who was a Ukranian immigrant, and who died in 1993. This caused him to start to write to get his memories down on paper. Meanwhile, he was asked to do a reading of Foer's short story, The Very Rigid Search, which was an excerpt from the still unpublished novel. Schreiber was blown away by the quality of the writing, saying that Foer had done in 15 pages what Schreiber tried to do in 107. Schreiber approached Foer and they talked about their grandfathers, culture, movies, and the nature of short-term memory in America; in the end, Foer agreed to let Schreiber adapt the book.

- Schreiber's own project was intended to be a road movie, but the book has parallel narrative that is an imagined chronological history of the town of Trochenbrod that spans 500 years; given his budget and limitations as a filmmaker, he said he'd leave that to Milos Forman and take the road trip instead. This imagined chronology was what moved him to make the movie in the first place, the idea that "a past lovingly imagined was as valuable as a past accurately recalled".

- Schreiber said the movie was a series of happy accidents. After searching unsuccessfully in Ukraine for an actor, he was walking through the Lower East Side in New York, when he saw a poster of a woman centaur, topless from the waist up, with an insane cossack sitting astride her. Under the poster said the name Gogol Bordello Ukranian Punk Gypsy Band.

Eugene Hutz then took over the story. He had never pursued acting as music was his first passion. One day, a friend gave him the book, and he thought it was written in a manner similar to how he writes music; screw sentences/syntax, language is my own.

Later, they got a call from a production company, looking for eastern European music that was medieval but modern. Hutz met with Schreiber, and he soon found the movie was based on the book he just happened to be reading. Not long after that came up, Schreiber asked Hutz what he thought about Alex and whether he could do the character by any chance.

- Foer and Schreiber talked about the film in the fall of 2001, shortly after the events of September 11. Both were in Europe at the time and they talked about the derogatory comments they were hearing about Americans, which led Schreiber to want to try to find an articulate American who would defy the stereotype that Europeans have of Americans. Someone who was awkward, vulnerable, flawed, innocent, and looking for history beyond the borders of his own country. Schreiber started thinking about who that was, and Elijah came up.

One of Schreiber's inspirations as a filmmaker is Emir Kusturica (I think that's who he said, who also directed a segment in another festival movie, All the Invisible Children) who said "you don't look for the actors, you look for the people." Schreiber said there is something about who Elijah is that he has a generosity of spirit and a sincere goodness as a human being, that came across on film. Schreiber said that the eyes are important when trying to articulate a character who is an observer, and that if "eyes are the doors to the soul, Elijah's are garage doors."

- Elijah Wood had fun with a question about the similarities between his character Kevin in Sin City and Jonathan in this movie as both are sort of a blank slate on which emotions are projected. Wood replied that Jonathan may seem still and seemingly emotionless, but it is all about his observations, about his experiences with other characters and the environment he was in.

- On the differences between directing and writing: Schreiber said he likes writing a lot more and jokingly described directing as "hell". After his grandfather died, Schreiber started to think about how to preserve some sense of history and himself; is he content driven or not, or just good at interpreting other people's work? He said he loved the exercise of figuring out what is emotional to you, important to you.

Was the above review useful to you?
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