7.3/10
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32 user 87 critic

Eyes Wide Open (2009)

Einayim Petukhoth (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 2 September 2009 (France)
Trailer
1:42 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Haim Tabakman

Writer:

Merav Doster (screenplay and story)
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Aaron Fleischman: [translated] Restrain yourself. Restrain yourself. We have an opportunity to rise, to overcome, to fulfill our destiny in this world. This challenge wouldn't have come to us if we couldn't face it.
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Connections

Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
A thoughtful and mature drama
12 October 2010 | by StrontiumAESee 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.


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Details

Country:

Israel | Germany | France

Language:

Hebrew | Yiddish | German | French | English

Release Date:

2 September 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Eyes Wide Open See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,818, 7 February 2010

Gross USA:

$26,258

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$276,576
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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