Films & Schedules
  • Eyes Wide Open
    Eynaim Pekukhot

  • Haim Tabakman

Country: Israel
90 minutes

Friday September 1109:45AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2 Buy Now
Saturday September 1205:00PM VARSITY 2 Buy Now
Saturday September 1904:15PM AMC 5 Buy Now


Living in one of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox quarters, Aaron (veteran stage actor Zohar Strauss) runs a kosher butcher shop and is the father of four young sons. His quiet life is disrupted when the arrival of the lost soul Ezri (Israeli heartthrob Ran Danker) awakens dormant feelings. Hidden under layers of piety, unknown desires suddenly rise in Aaron like an all-enveloping tide. While the devout Jew initially believes the proximity of temptation will only make him stronger, he ultimately abandons himself to the throes of passion. Eventually, however, he will have to face up to his religious and familial responsibilities. When a next-door neighbour strays from righteousness, Aaron is forced to reassume his role in the community, and listlessly joins the rabbi in making threats that will soon be redirected at him if he doesn't conform to the norm.

First-time feature director Haim Tabakman, having honed his skills editing David Volach's My Father My Lord, now explores the moral boundaries of his own religion with a sharp, mature investigation of a tough subject. Allowing the camera to breathe down the backs of his subjects, he creates a tightly wound universe of quiet devastation. Tabakman charges the merest touch with megawatts of emotion, delivering a restrained masterpiece of hidden tensions that wisely refuses to stoop to unnecessary dramatics.

Grounded in a realist aesthetic, Eyes Wide Open skilfully captures the duality of living in a close-knit community where there's no such thing as free will. People may look out for one another, but their generosity comes with strings attached. Aaron must choose between personal freedom and religious responsibility, and in this part of the world, the laws of desire do not reign supreme.

Dimitri Eipides

Haim Tabakman studied film and television at Tel Aviv University. His first short film, Free Loaders (03), screened at the Cannes Film Festival, as did his follow-up, The Poet's Home (04). He served as editor on My Father My Lord (07) before making his feature film debut with Eyes Wide Open (09).

Cadillac People's Choice Award