Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot) (2010)
Movie InfoA man who acknowledges a side of himself he's kept hidden for decades must decide between love, loyalty, and faith in this drama from filmmaker Haim Tabakman set in Jerusalem. Aaron (Zohar Strauss) is an orthodox Jew in his mid-thirties who helps run a kosher butcher shop opened by his father. Aaron is married to Rivka (Ravit "Tinkerbell" Rozen) and they have four sons, but he often feels something is missing from his life. One day, a 19-year-old yeshiva student, Ezri (Ran Danker), stops by the shop; when Aaron learns Ezri is homeless, he offers to make the youngster his apprentice and gives him a room. Aaron and Ezri strike up a fast friendship, but in time their feelings become deeper, and during a communal bath they act on the desires that have been growing between them. Aaron finds himself torn between his loyalty to his family and his growing love for Ezri, and his dilemma becomes even more pointed when Rabbi Vaisben (Tzahi Grad) asks him to join him in his "Purity Police" group, who pay threatening visits to people in the community who are falling short in the eyes of the congregation. Einaym Pkuhot (aka Eyes Wide Open) was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened as part of the "Un Certain Regard" program. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
Related News & Features
Critics Consensus: From Paris With Love Is Not Bon
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.
Critic Reviews for Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot)
The unusually subtle yet eloquent debut of Israeli director Haim Tabakman...
Slow and often silent, it's an extraordinarily disciplined film that respects, if not honours, the milieu of its story...
Eschews sentimentality and pathos, instead letting body language and the dusty, gloomy streets of Jerusalem shape the story.
It moves slowly and patiently through the ordeal of a single soul, illuminating in the process a cosmos of intense and hidden feeling.
Quiet, sober and tense, the movie makes some interesting points, but it lacks the emotional firepower of Brokeback Mountain.
The drama's moments of inspiration vindicate its desultory proceedings.
The movie respects the Jewish tradition of inquiry and debate; it unreels as a sort of dramatic dialogue that acknowledges the benefits and terrors of both religious fundamentalism and personal freedom.
This restrained piece from first-time Israeli film-maker Haim Tabakman explores the tension between faith and sexuality in Jerusalem.
The simplicity of the tale is its strength and the acting of Zohar Strauss as Aaron and Ran Danker as Ezri is entirely natural.
It's almost impossible to imagine anyone making a gay romance between two orthodox Jews. And yet this film is subtle and sensitive, and full of earthy honesty as it explores a seriously difficult situation.
A very human story quietly unfolds with a compelling understatement in this dour but deeply-felt drama from director Haim Tabakman.
This is responsible, restrained and intelligent, but if anything, the risky subject material is handled with too much caution.
Director Haim Tabakman avoids sensationalism so assiduously that his film has slightly less eroticism than the average party political broadcast.
It's not just the subject matter of impossible love that recalls Brokeback Mountain, but the same aching sadness and pathos.
One of the best and most moving love stories you'll ever see. Absolutely top draw.
Tabakman makes evocative use of enclosed spaces and silences, and tempers the melodrama with a sociological authenticity that confirms the centrality of belief in Jewish culture.
Director Haim Tabakman conjures up the sad mood very skilfully, with natural lighting, measured pace and an unexpected electronic soundtrack. In fact, it's probably my favourite film about the romantic love between two Jewish guys since Superbad.
The film's urgent point about the need for understanding is made with dignity and an appreciable tinge of sorrow.
Impressively directed, thought-provoking and emotionally engaging drama that plays like an orthodox Jewish version of Brokeback Mountain, though the pacing and minimalistic dialogue might prove too arthouse for some tastes.
As oblique and laconic as its characters, Tabakman's moral tale rises to a melancholy spirituality.
"Brokeback Mezuzah": Tender, affecting, brave, and beautifully wrought,
Audience Reviews for Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot)
A wonderful, truly overwhelming Israeli drama about desire versus religious faith in Jerusalem, presenting a highly emotionally engaging forbidden love story between two orthodox Jewish men, whose feelings for each other are so real and intense that I felt instantly grabbed by the profound sentiment they share.More
Eyes Wide Open is my official introduction to Israeli cinema and I must say it's a weak start. While the film which is a directorial debut is well organized, it's to pessimistic. I felt like I was a watching a holocaust movie for Gods sake. The opening scene showed two depressing men in a gloomy raining setting, the whole film continued like that. It was a drama queen, and not a particularly entertaining one. As a drama it tried to hard to make the audience depressed, and based on the critical reception it worked, I didn't suck into it though.More
"We cannot go on like this. I have a wife, family, children."
"And I have only you."
Subtle, downplayed drama with more than a passing resemblance to Brokeback Mountain both in terms of its slow pace and constant tone and its content, Eyes Wide Open shines a light on a subject that does not got enough attention. Haim Tabakman's direction is assured, frequently inventive (there's one especially brilliant shot involving the reflections from a passing van) but never 'showy', allowing the characters to 'breathe' and the story to flow naturally. Often bleak and occasionally funny, there are no happy endings; hardly surprising given the awful life homosexuals have to live in the Jewish Orthodox community. A very apt title, to boot.
A movie about homosexuals in an orthodox Jewish environment sounds like something that could go horribly wrong, but we're lucky, Eyes Wide Open pulls it off as is lovely little movie. The movie is lighthearted without neglecting realism or bordering on silly but also serious without becoming too hard to digest. The overall style of the film is subtle and observational, so expect no Brokeback Mountain tearjerkers or quirky gayness as in Philip Morris. Instead, we are granted a look inside a tightly (too tightly) knit community where those who strain from the path are cast out. The film relies on the viewer drawing his own conclusions when it comes to the emotional states of the actors. In line with the core concept of keeping up appearances, it is hard to look behind the emotional facades of the protagonists, despite the internal struggle being aptly portrayed by both actors to a very good extent. My respect goes out for addressing the issue alone, but on top of that, Eyes Wide Open is an impressive and enjoyable piece of film-making.More
Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot) Quotes
Discuss Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot) on our Movie forum!