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Eyes Wide Open (2009)
"Einayim Petukhoth" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,725 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 22 user | 82 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aaron Fleischman (as Zohar Strauss)
...
Tinkerbell ...
Rivka Fleischman
...
Rabbi Vaisben
Isaac Sharry ...
Mordechai
Avi Grainik ...
Israel Fischer (as Avi Grayinik)
Eva Zrihen-Attali ...
Sara
Haim Zanati ...
Ultraourthodox Weirdo (as Haim Znati)
Mati Atlas ...
Ex-boy Friend
Iftach Ophir ...
Head of Yeshiva Student in the Butchery (as Iftach Ofir)
Safrira Zachai ...
Fischer's Mother (as Shafrira Zakai)
Lidor Daudi ...
Yakov
Tal Barak ...
David
Bar Kalfin ...
Shimon
Royi Zolicha ...
Nataniel
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Storyline

Aaron (Zohar Shtrauss), a respected butcher and a family man in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, leads a conservative life of community devotion and spiritual dedication. Aaron's life undergoes a series of emotional changes following the arrival of a young apprentice (Ran Danker) to his shop. Consumed with lust, the handsome "Yeshiva" student irreversibly transforms the intricate beliefs in the once-devoted butcher's life - leading Aaron to question his relationships with his wife Rivka (Tinkerbell), children, community, and God. Written by kirstein-1 / edited by TrivWhiz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

2 September 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Eyes Wide Open  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,818 (USA) (5 February 2010)

Gross:

$30,818 (USA) (5 March 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Rabbi Vaisben: [translated] He who dwells in abstinence is a sinner. A man who prevents himself from drinking wine is a sinner. He makes a sacrifice. Why? God doesn't want a man to suffer. He shouldn't cause himself sorrow. Why has God created the world? To make good for us, to ease our souls.
Aaron Fleischman: Rabbi, this doesn't satisfy me. He who drinks wine doesn't want to deal with the challenge. Worshipping God is an everyday duty. It means loving the difficulties. Being a slave of God means loving the hardship.
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Featured in Sharon Amrani: Remember His Name (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A thoughtful and mature drama
12 October 2010 | by (United Arab Emirates) – See all my reviews

When I think of gay cinema, campy titles Too Wong Fu or I Love You Phillip Morris comes to mind, and so I am usually put off the idea of watching. However Eyes Wide Open is something totally different and quite intelligent. Here, life in a Jerusalem community is disrupted by the arrival of a young 'unorthodox' Orthodox Jewish student who proceeds to seduce an older Jewish Orthodox man, who is married with four children. The narrative follows the progress of this conflicted husband coping with what is essentially a midlife crisis, while having to deal with the relationship issues of his neighbor's daughter, whose open 'secret' affair with her boyfriend begins to mirror the problems developing in his own life.

Employing a minimalist feel supported by a soundtrack reminiscent Soderbergh's Solaris and incorporating the use of washed-out colors and stark lighting to convey a bleak realism, Eyes Wide Open's over the top premise is dealt with realistically and intelligently, never once turning the story into a tabloid spectacle. Although a lack of dialog from the main characters makes it difficult for the audience to truly understand their motivation, the story still provides an interesting insight into the moral conflicts some individuals may face, while being true to their family and themselves.

The only beef I have with this film is its 12 rating. There is some full nudity and a sex scene or two, which should have automatically given it a higher rating. Although its tastefully done and not pornographic in the least... it can make for an awkward viewing experience if watched with kids or someone more conservative.

Check my profile for my blog and more reviews of Middle Eastern and Western Cinema.


10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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