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Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot)

Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot) (2010)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,255

My Rating

Movie Info

A 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


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Merav Doster

Nov 16, 2010

Regent Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (5) | DVD (3)

The unusually subtle yet eloquent debut of Israeli director Haim Tabakman...

November 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Slow and often silent, it's an extraordinarily disciplined film that respects, if not honours, the milieu of its story...

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eschews sentimentality and pathos, instead letting body language and the dusty, gloomy streets of Jerusalem shape the story.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It moves slowly and patiently through the ordeal of a single soul, illuminating in the process a cosmos of intense and hidden feeling.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Quiet, sober and tense, the movie makes some interesting points, but it lacks the emotional firepower of Brokeback Mountain.

February 5, 2010 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The drama's moments of inspiration vindicate its desultory proceedings.

February 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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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.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

This restrained piece from first-time Israeli film-maker Haim Tabakman explores the tension between faith and sexuality in Jerusalem.

June 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

The simplicity of the tale is its strength and the acting of Zohar Strauss as Aaron and Ran Danker as Ezri is entirely natural.

May 20, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

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.

May 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A sensitively directed and movingly acted story of forbidden love.

May 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A very human story quietly unfolds with a compelling understatement in this dour but deeply-felt drama from director Haim Tabakman.

May 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

This is responsible, restrained and intelligent, but if anything, the risky subject material is handled with too much caution.

May 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian

Director Haim Tabakman avoids sensationalism so assiduously that his film has slightly less eroticism than the average party political broadcast.

May 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

It's not just the subject matter of impossible love that recalls Brokeback Mountain, but the same aching sadness and pathos.

May 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

One of the best and most moving love stories you'll ever see. Absolutely top draw.

May 13, 2010
Little White Lies

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.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Worthy in theme, honourable in intent, oddly bloodless in execution.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

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.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

The film's urgent point about the need for understanding is made with dignity and an appreciable tinge of sorrow.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

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.

May 12, 2010 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

As oblique and laconic as its characters, Tabakman's moral tale rises to a melancholy spirituality.

May 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

"Brokeback Mezuzah": Tender, affecting, brave, and beautifully wrought,

February 11, 2010 Full Review Source: CultureCatch

Brave, provocative and gently engrossing with well-nuanced performances.

February 6, 2010 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

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.
June 13, 2010

Super Reviewer

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.
January 21, 2013
Daniel Dolgin

Super Reviewer

"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.
December 31, 2010

Super Reviewer

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.
April 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Aaron: We can't go on this way. I have a family, wife, children.
    2. Ezri: I have only you.
    – Submitted by Tareq J (17 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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