Liev Schreiber

Everything Is Illuminated

After the first few minutes I put a question to the host of the even whether this was going to be a psychologically heavy movie (known as "gruzila" among our company). He stated that it was absolutely not a "gruzila". I still had my doubts about it because a film featuring some rich Jew travelling to Ukraine in order to see the village where all his relatives were executed rarely is a funny piece. Yet at least the first third of it wasn`t heavy. Later on when we switch a bit more to the Holocaust thematics it does get a bit more expected though. I may have stated this on my factoid more than once already but I`ll repeat it once again: I`ve had enough of the Holocaust already! I just don`t care for this subject anymore. I am aware that people are still researching everything about it but I am not interested. Not that I don`t care for different kinds of hate, discrimination etc, but I just think that there`s enough of films and books about the Holocaust already. This film was still a very good one, despite my attitude towards the subject. The closest parallel that comes to my mind is Emir Kusturica`s "Underground" - a supposedly comical tale that`s full of sadness and pain. And it`s even close in terms of musical content - only "E.i.I." doesn`t have Goran Bregovic or Kusturica doing the music, but chooses relying on the punky "Leningrad" and "Gogol Bordello". The weirdest thing about the film is the fact that it`s narrated partly in English (from the Jewish fellow who`s played by Elijah Wood), in broken English (a Ukrainian-Gypsy actor) and in Russian/Ukrainian - by the rest of the actors. That`s surely a rare case for an American film and I can be only very happy that I know both Russian and English for otherwise I`d miss a lot of it`s charme. By the way the fellow who plays the "cool" Ukrainian Alex is also the lead singer of the band "Gogol Bordello" which sounds very much like "The No-Smoking Orchestra" in deed, and since he`s a Gypsy himself - there`s no wonder about it. So, a very good film that`s bound to stay in my memory for a long time but I would watch it again only if I was forced by a gun.
2006-02-19 00:00:00
film, 2005