Thursday, March 26, 2009


Distress, was a word used in the film Everything is Illuminated frequently. I would say it is a perfect word to describe the overall tone of the movie. Although the broken Ukrainian English butchering was very humorous it only masked what was really going on in this film. I would have to say that my favorite character was definitely the grandfather, because of his complex character vs. that of Jonathan or Alex. He was the character that stuck out to me from the very beginning as just off, as if there was something to be in fact “illuminated” about him or potentially his past. Usually it’s the bitter ones that we learn from in life, that typically culminating in the form of don’t grow up to be like me or something pretty close. Now I am Jewish so I guess perhaps I should have some deeper connection with this movie but in actuality I really don’t because I am not very religious. What I do know is a simple life lesson, no one is bitter for no reason. When I saw grandfather I knew something had happened to him, not sure what but I knew he was unhappy with himself, and obviously beat himself up about it on a regular basis. Finding out at the end of the film that he was actually a Jew was a bit of a revelation for me, considering I was harboring an inclination that he was in actuality one of the ones responsible for the sacking of Trachinbrod. I suppose in some way my initial gut feeling was correct, he did have a reason to be unhappy; pretending to be something he wasn’t by being an anti-Semitic prick. Given his experiences in life I would say he was the most pained of all the characters aside from the lone woman in Trachinbrod. She represented the alienation of the past. Never been in a car, didn’t know if the war was over etc. she didn’t want to know about the future, only cared about preserving her past, which unfortunately was burned and gunned down decades earlier. Jonathan was just funny to watch, given his peculiar tendencies. I would say he was even more deranged than the “seeing eye bitch”. The only thing I can’t seem to figure out was why grandfather pretended to be blind, I am still pondering on the significance of that; as well as why was the only character grandfather connected with was the seeing eye bitch. Finally we have Alex, a simple boy who embraced the past, or more aptly put just an out of date hip hop phase. Although the clothing was fly, I would say he was the most naive of them all. How do you not know that the people of your own country harbored anti-Semitisms? Overall I enjoyed the movie especially the broken English because that alone was painful. As for the overall message of the film I would say it was well received and that I would recommend this film as a movie to fall into repose with.

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