IZRAEL / FRANCE / GERMANY: “EYES WIDE OPEN” IN MAIN COMPETITION

FIND YOUR COUNTRY on TOFIFEST FILM FESTIVAL

Controversial film about homosexual love in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community “Eyes Wide Open” (Israel, France, Germany, 2009), called by critics a “Jewish Brokeback Mountain”, is a film directed by debutant Haim Tabakman.

Courage of an artist, who created a film about homosexuality among Orthodox Jews, literally described words from TheIndependetCritic.com site: “the Orthodox Jewish community is even less tolerant than the Taliban”. This is a story of Aaron who is a respected member of Jewish community in his forties who leads quiet and orderly life in the orthodox quarter of Jerusalem. The routine of his daily life is broken by Ezri – nineteen years old student who unexpectedly visits Aaron’s shop. Between men born feelings which turns into passion and lust. Orthodox community will not allow for it.

“Eyes Wide Open” is the one of the most interesting Israel films from recent years. It tells openly about the homosexual love between men which is forbidden in Judaism. TheIndependetCritic.com critic wrote about this film – “Most disturbing and maddening scenes as we see Aaron’s passion give way to overwhelming guilt, shame and inner torment. His response to wrestling with his own inner demons and the actions of his community will leave you thinking and feeling and discussing for days after viewing the film”.The power of film’s message was appreciated by many festival juries. The image was taken to the selection of the Cannes Film Festival; it received the Israeli Film Academy awards, the Grand Prix of Ghent International Film Festival, an acting prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival and the John Schlesinger Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.