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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  2 September 2009 (France)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,439 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 25 user | 83 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
...
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:

| |

Language:

| | | |

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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User Reviews

 
Small, unpretentious and extremely moving

"Eyes Wide Open" has a wonderful sense of sincerity to it. It's a small, unpretentious film which manages to plunge to emotional depths without being showy or sensational. This restraint imbues the film with much power and conviction in telling the story of a family man whose inner world is torn apart when he falls in love with a young man. What makes this scenario unique is that the milieu in which this is played out, is that of the ultra Orthodox Jewish society in Jerusalem. As with all extreme religions there is of course no place for deviants from the norm.

Aharon, the protagonist, is a deeply religious man searching for truths who has to face the truth of his own heart. In perhaps the most poignant scene of the film, he confesses to his horrified spiritual mentor that he feels he's truly come alive for the first time.

"Eyes Wide Open" is the debut feature film of director Haim Tabakman. It is unusual for a first time director to demonstrate such assurance of style and tone. What would make or break a film of this nature is the quality of the performances. All the secondary parts are well played, but it is Zohar Strauss utterly convincing lead performance which makes the film work. There is not one false moment. This makes the inherent tragic situation an extremely moving one to behold. Highly recommended.


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