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Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

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Coming Out at 4 November 2005 in theaters

Comedy, Drama

Everything Is Illuminated is biographical comedy-drama film, written and directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood and Eugene Hütz. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, and was the debut film of Liev Schreiber both as a director and as a screenwriter.

Jonathan Safran Foer (Elijah Wood), a young American Jew, goes on a quest to find the woman, Augustina, who saved his grandfather, Safran Foer, during the Holocaust in a small Ukrainian town called Trachimbrod that was wiped off the map when the Nazis liquidated Eastern European shtetls. His guides are a cranky, antisemitic grandfather (Boris Leskin), his deranged Border Collie named Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr., and his over-enthusiastic grandson, Alex (Eugene Hütz), whose fractured command of English, passion for American pop culture, and constant chatter threaten to make the worst of every situation.

The guides are not very knowledgeable about the subject of finding Jews, and usually just attempt to scam them by taking them on long journeys, but after hearing about Jonathan’s compelling story, they decide they actually want to help him. After traveling through much of rural Ukraine, they eventually find Augustina’s sister, Lista (Laryssa Lauret), who leads them to where Augustina was killed by Nazi soldiers after her father refused to spit on the Torah. Alex’s grandfather kills himself after it was revealed he was Jewish and managed to survive the war himself by hiding his religion. Jonathan returns home after saying farewell to Alex, to whom he has grown close. Both Jonathan and Alex sprinkle soil gathered from the site of the massacre on their respective grandfathers’ graves. Alex’s grandfather is given a Jewish burial.

Director: Liev Schreiber

Writers: Jonathan Safran Foer (novel), Liev Schreiber

Stars: Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Lyoskin, Jonathan Safran Foer, Laryssa Lauret

Cast:

Eugene HutzAlex
Elijah WoodJonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran FoerLeaf Blower
Jana HrabetovaJonathan’s Grandmother
Stephen SamudovskyJonathan’s Grandfather Safran
Ljubomir DezeraYoung Jonathan
Oleksandr ChoroshkoAlexander Perchov, Father
Gil KazimirovIgor
Zuzana HodkovaAlex’s Mother
MikkiSammy Davis Jr. Jr.
MouseSammy Davis Jr. Jr.
Boris LyoskinGrandfather
Robert ChytilBreakdancer
Jaroslava SochovaWoman on Train
Sergei RyabtsevUkrainian Band Member
Yuri LemeshevUkrainian Band Member
Pamela RacineUkrainian Band Member
Oleksandr HoutzUkrainian Band Member
Ludmila KartouskaHotel Waitress
Igor LattaOld Man at Fair
Eugenin MarandicFair Goer
Orest TkachukFair Goer
Elias BauerGoatherder Boy
Jurij KokyrcWell Digger
Sergej KapitanWell Digger
Jaroslav JurichkancWell Digger
Igor SavivskijWell Digger
Jan FilipenskýWell Digger
Bert SchneiderNazi Officer
Tereza VeselkovaAugustine
Laryssa LauretLista
Lukas KralYoung Grandfather, Baruch
Vera SindelarovaYoung Lista

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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