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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A young Jewish girl looking to escape the clutches of the Third Reich after seeing her parents and sister brutally slain while attempting to make their way to England is sheltered by an old... See full summary »
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This sequel to Yossi and Jagger finds Dr. Yossi Gutmann reminiscing about his love ten years after his death; however, as he encounters a group of young soldiers, one of them, Tom, reignites his romantic feelings.
Two couples are enjoying their summer at the beach, but when the grown son of one couple arrives, it surprisingly stirs something in the husband of the other couple, will the forbidden feelings end badly?
Maria de Medeiros,
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
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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Collision of religion and sexuality in the Orthodox Jewish world
I attended the North American Premiere of "Eyes Wide Open" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. This is a somewhat provocative yet understated examination of what it's like to be gay in the Orthodox Jewish world. In his first feature, director Haim Tabakman, working from a Merav Doster script, introduces us to Aaron (Zohar Shtrauss) and Ezri (Ran Danker). Aaron runs a Kosher butcher shop that's been in the family for generations. Ezri is an outsider, already under suspicion for questionable behavior, who enters Aaron's world with possible intentions beyond purchasing a hunk of meat. There's a joke there but I'll resist. The cultural constraints placed upon gays, or anyone who is different, are painfully drawn out as the neighbors decide what actions to take. The Orthodox Jewish community sends in its own goons (enforcers of God?).
This character-driven film is haunting and poignant. Like many foreign films, natural lighting is predominant. The cinema verité style, without regard to shadows, is much more powerful than images in traditional Hollywood movies -- provided the images aren't too dark -- a problem I've seen here with some films. The score is used sparsely, only to punctuate the more emotional moments. The pace is slow and deliberate, while long takes with little dialogue allow the actors to speak with their eyes, facial movements, and body language.
The collision of religion and sexuality is a common theme at every film festival. What is the meaning of restraint? Are we really being true to God if we destroy ourselves in the process?
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