Forbidden Love in Jerusalem

Never be ashamed of lust…

Eyes Wide Open

In a staunch and insular Orthodox Jewish community, a drifter arrives, Ezri looking for work and accommodation. Aaron, a married father who has re-opened his father’s Kosher butcher shop in Jerusalem offers Ezri a place to work and to sleep upstairs from the business. Ezri is young, handsome and seems out of place in an essentially conservative society, harbouring a talent to draw and a deeper homosexual feeling towards Aaron. Initially their relationship is purely platonic, but its very difficult to separate feelings when they work, pray and basically spend all their time together. The sexual tension is rife, especially in a neighbourhood which has already demonized another man for having an affair with a young woman, contracted to be married to someone else.

Ezri invites Aaron to step out of his comfort zone and travel out of Jerusalem to some sacred waters for spiritual cleansing. Soon their intimacy turns to passion in the backrooms of the Kosher butchery, and Aaron enters a forbidden relationship with Ezri in a tightly-knit neighbourhood which is already threatening to boycott his business for being unorthodox. Elders from the synagogue advise Aaron to let Ezri go as his reputation suffers, for the sake of the moral fibre of a community that cannot suffer from the foolish love between men.

To have a window into another belief system so different to one’s own is a privilege enough, and this Israeli film is remarkable that it was ever made in the first place, with the financial backing of the Israel Film Fund and is fascinating not just at the perceptive look at an orthodox community, the strict social customs and the religious traditions which bind it, but also at the taboos which also threaten to dissolve the very strands that hold that community together.

Marriage, family and children are sacred and non-conformity is frowned upon as a deviancy left to drifters. Eyes Wide Open is a riveting film, held together by the brooding and simmering performances of Ran Danker, who shines  as the seductive and outgoing  Ezri and Zohar Strauss as the morally conflicted and claustrophobic Aaron  both entwined in a relationship as doomed as that portrayed by the Wyoming cowboys Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar.

Herding cattle and desire at Brokeback

Both Eyes Wide Open and Brokeback Mountain depict forbidden relationships between men that are at supreme odds with the environment that they are forced to inhabit but cannot relinquish. As for Ezri, like Jack Twist, both would be more comfortable in cities like Paris, Toronto and Rio de Janeiro, but have to accept the consequences of taking risks for the sake of desire in a hostile world.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
November 2010
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
  • ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Renewed for Season 8 at AMC, Kim Dickens to Return in Second Half of Season 7
    “Fear the Walking Dead” has been renewed for Season 8, with former series star Kim Dickens set to return to the zombie apocalypse series. The announcement was made on “Talking Dead” following the series finale of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.” Dickens will make her return to the series in the second half of Season […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • Korea Box Office: New Restrictions Loom, ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Fails to Scare
    “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” crept into the background at the South Korean box office over the weekend, as the top three films remained unchanged. Nationwide aggregate revenue was a lowly $5.06 million as audiences avoided cinemas ahead of new health restrictions. Cinemas, along with bars, restaurants, gyms and museums, are among the high-risk places affected by a […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan’s ‘Vikram Vedha’ Starts Second Shoot (EXCLUSIVE)
    Bollywood film “Vikram Vedha,” starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, has wrapped its first shooting schedule in Abu Dhabi and commenced the second one in Lucknow, India. The film, which also stars Radhika Apte in a pivotal role, is a remake of 2017 Tamil-language hit “Vikram Vedha,” directed by writer-directors Pushkar and Gayatri and […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ‘Succession’: Roman’s D— Pic Threatens to Blow Up GoJo Merger Ahead of Finale
    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you haven’t watched “Chiantishire,” the eighth episode of “Succession” Season 3. After accidentally sending his father a dick pic, Roman may have just blown up Waystar Royco — or, will it be called GoJo Royco? Amid recent complaints of a slower-paced, less exciting Season 3, this penultimate episode shakes […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Review: An Unmemorable Broadway Musical Banks on Familiar Material
    A face smothered in banana cream has already sprung out from behind a refrigerator door. A silicone breast plate has been scorched over a stovetop. A man dressed like Margaret Thatcher on her day off has boogied with a vacuum cleaner. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” a polished and pandering new musical from Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and […]
    Gordon Cox
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90