Directed by: Haim Tabakman
Countries & Regions: France, Germany, Israel
Length: 96 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 20 September 2010
Cat No: PPD183
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Eyes Wide Open
Israeli drama by first-time feature director Haim Tabakman. Aaron Fleishman (Zohar Shtrauss) is an ultra-orthodox Jew and father of four... Read More
The homophobic stance of religions such as Christianity and Islam is well documented, yet the views of Orthodox Judaism has been under-represented in the media. In Haim Tabakman’s impressive debut, Eyes Wide Open, the taboo is explored as Aaron, married, devout father of four, befriends and gradually falls in love with Ezri, a 19-year-old apprentice at his kosher butchers. As Aaron fails to resist temptation and neglects his family, a group of Hasidic enforcers attempt to intimidate the pair into separation.
Rather than aiming for blatant sloganeering against the perceived homophobia of the orthodox community, Tabakman opts for a subtle approach, slowly letting the drama unfold as we see the relationships develop - Aaron does not acknowledge his feelings for Ezri until nearly half way into the film. The behaviour of the quietly menacing, self-appointed Jewish Mafiosi is steadily revealed, suggesting the treatment that may face Aaron and Ezri. The film also boasts strong performances, not least from the eccentrically-named Tinkerbell, who plays Aaron’s confused wife. The film has deservedly scooped many awards at festivals worldwide, and marks Tabakan as a major talent to watch.