16 January 2008

Everything is Illuminated

I finally saw this film, and I must say that while it's a very poignant story, it still manages to retain those little flashes of humanity and humour that is such a hallmark of living in this world. The film follows the journey of Jonathan to the Ukraine in search of a woman who helped his grandparents during the Holocaust. It also follows the journeys of the translator (Alex), and Alex's grandfather (plus "seeing eye bitch" for good measure) as they evolve as people and unfold more of their own selves to each other (and to themselves). For anyone who's ever reached out and made a connection with someone you'd ordinarily never get an opportunity to connect with, the Alex character will resonate with you strongly, as he's just this happy-go-lucky man of the world, who's never left the country he grew up in.

And, of course, there is that wonderful scene where Jonathan, Alex, grandfather, and dog are at a drive-by motel, and are about to order dinner. Jonathan explains that as a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. Alex and grandfather are highly confused, and wonder what's wrong with him. Finally, Alex convinces the cook to bring Jonathan a boiled potato. With nothing on it. Which Jonathan accidentally knocks to the ground. Anyone who's been travelling out to the beyond the beyonds will definitely feel that one!

All in all, excellently done film.


  1. This is one of my absolute favorites, it manages to both be hystarically funny and completely moving.
    Sammy Davis Jr. Jr.

    Plus I have a sort of sick crush on Eugene Hutz (alex)(sans 'stash). He's just so perfect in this.

    I recommend the book, and a plus I'm 99.99% sure that Jonathan Saffran Foer is vegan, he almost always has at least one vegan character in his books.

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