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  • Eyes Wide Open [Blu-ray] [2009]
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Eyes Wide Open [Blu-ray] [2009]


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Product details

  • Actors: Zohar Strauss, Ravit Rozen, Tzahi Grad, Ran Danker
  • Directors: Haim Tabakman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Hebrew
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Peccadillo Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Dec. 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003NEQ7Q6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,054 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalems ultra-orthodox Jewish community, is married to Rivka and is a dedicated father of four children. One day, he meets Ezri, a handsome twenty-two year old student, and soon falls in love with him. He then starts to neglect his family and community life, swept away by his love and lust for Ezri. Meanwhile, paralleling this relationship, a neighbouring shopkeeper persists in seeing a man of her own choosing, even though she's been promised by her father to another. Eventually, guilt, torment and pressure from the community will catch up with the doomed lovers, leading them to make radical decisions...

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A.S. on 9 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
What I liked about Eyes Wide Open was that, though set in Israel, it is neither a film based on shock factor nor is it a film that focused on an attack or even really comments on religion. The film doesn't rely on sensationalism, and though it is based in a rather unusual setting- that of the most Orthodox area within Israel, it is instead a very sombre story of two people dealing with forbidden love.

The film is done beautifully, with breathtaking shots of a place I've wanted to visit my entire life. The characters are developed well, and I felt myself truly sympathising with the hardships of their relationships. I think a lot of that has to do with the feeling of restraint the film evokes, with glances exchanged or a fleeting touch.

Though the film is short, about 90 minutes approximately, the fantastic acting and well thought out script leave the viewer not only wanting more, but truly immersed in the lives of these men.

5/5!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By André Aschwanden on 23 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First of all, an extraordinary and unusual sociological portrait of the jewish orthodox community, that one normally doesn't happen to see or experience in everyday life.
Furthermore, a wonderfull and authentic love story: all excellent actors, beautiful dialogs, intelligently set sceneries and enjoyably calm atmospheres.
What a diamond among today's loud and gaudy mainstream Hollywood cinema!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one that is hard to place in existing genres. It tells of the story of Aaron Fleischman (Butcher played by Zohar Shtrauss), who is actually a butcher and purveyor of all meats kosher. He is an ultra orthodox Jew whose idea of fun is studying the Torah and being given to unexpected bouts of group `singing'. He is married with kids and is considered by his closeted community to be `righteous'. This is set in Jerusalem in a part of the town where civic pride is a phrase yet to enter their vocabulary; tarpaulins for roofs, graffiti everywhere and just dust on everything.

Then one day a young student stumbles into his shop and asks about work, this is 22 year old Ezri (Ran Dankar). He is initially rebuffed, but a later encounter sees Aaron offering Ezri the job. He soon becomes essential to Aarons existence, who now challenges his entire belief system, including religion and home life. Things move on a pace once Ezri has taken Aaron to the springs for `an immersion'. However everyone knows everyone's business and no one is allowed to do as they please. The phrase `no good will come of this' is a recurring theme.

There is only minimal background music which adds to the tension that is ever present, especially as rumours of Ezri `the sinner' soon become common knowledge and the `Modesty Guards' get involved. This film has explicit scenes of Torah study, graphic scenes of meat handling and full frontal views of ropey shop fronts. But despite all of that it has a strange energy that pulls you along with it. It is also very brave to have tackled such a subject and all power to Israeli cinema for doing such a great job.

It is in Hebrew Yiddish with generally very good sub titles, with a run time of an hour and a half and despite being gay themed, there are no under the duvet action trysts so be warned. I found it engrossing and moving and would recommend to anyone interested in world/gay cinema.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miannie on 24 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is beautiful. Beautifully filmed, beautifully acted, beautifully heartbreaking plot (unfortunately it is not beautifully subtitled - looks like it was done by some happy amateur online somewhere). What I would say about this film is that I think it would be a problem to approach it as being "a film about homosexuality" in the way that Brokeback Mountain [DVD] [2005] or Beautiful Thing [DVD] or whatever is about homosexuality. Eyes Wide Open is every bit as much about ultra-Orthodox Jewish life. One doesn't necessarily need to be amazingly familiar with Judaism to understand this film, but one needs to be able to understand the place and role of religion and G-d in a devout religious person's life. If you don't understand this, I suspect that the motivations of the characters in this film will be hard to understand and, above all, hard to accept.

Last but not least, a short note on the actors. I've never seen Zohar Strauss in anything else, but he is outstanding in this. And Ran Danker has made a really impressive jump from playing Zohar in HaShir Shelanu, a sort of Israeli "Glee" to playing handsome Yeshiva dropout Ezri (although he probably didn't drop out so much as got kicked out).

Overall, a fantastic film. I'm glad I bought it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zurvan56 on 1 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD
I found a great idea to place a gay love story amongst the most orthodox Jewish community, that there is no way to stop desire even if it's strictly forbidden, nature is stronger than cultural patterns born to make human beings unhappy and domed by fears, false feelings. A really good movie.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Henry Fields on 13 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
Unforbidden gay love set in a orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, Israel. A family man employs a new young stranger to work in his butcher, and soon discovers he has feeling for this young man. it's nothing new the story, but the setting is different, topical, political and very up to date. A story not told before in my experience, beside Trembling Before GD which was a documentary. My god does the director know how to draw performances from his actors. it's very subtle and inventive, a wonderful discovery, i was so moved my heart ached for them so much. it's more than a love story, it makes you think and question Israel and it's hypocritical regime, but it does this not in a judgmental way, a very powerful film.
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