5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Kosher Meat, Orthodox Jews, Modesty Guards and Huge Beards!,
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This review is from: Eyes Wide Open [DVD]  (DVD)
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.