Eyes Wide Open (2009) - full transcript

Aaron (Zohar Shtrauss), a respected butcher and a family man in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, leads a conservative life of community devotion and spiritual dedication. Aaron's life undergoes a series of emotional changes following the arrival of a young apprentice (Ran Danker) to his shop. Consumed with lust, the handsome "Yeshiva" student irreversibly transforms the intricate beliefs in the once-devoted butcher's life - leading Aaron to question his relationships with his wife Rivka (Tinkerbell), children, community, and God.

Notice of the passing of
Menachem Fleischman

Butchershop Fleischman

Employee wanted

Can I use the telephone?

I'm currently in Jerusalem.
You don't answer.

I'll call back later.

Everything okay?

Young man!


You're not from around here.

I'm attending a Talmud School.

That's good. Which school?

''The Wisdom of Menachem''.

Are you sure? I thought
that school doesn't exist anymore.

I'm looking for a school.

You're looking...

You can wait here for as long
as it rains.


Blessed art Thou the Eternal,
Lord of the Universe...

YOu're looking for an employee?


I'm looking for work.

Have you ever worked
at a butcher's before?


I've applied for studies
at a Talmud school.

Quite so. Here it's different.

I know.

You have a place to sleep?

I can find lodgings with a friend.

The friend who isn't answering?

He'll answer.

Go back to your place.
This place is nothing for you.

I'll manage.

Coming back is not so easy.

What are you doing?

Leave it!

I came for you.

I have nowhere else to go.

Talk to me!

I don't believe you.

And He, the Eternal Halleluja.

Hallowed and blessed be His name.

... that His Kingdom may be witnessed

in our days
and alive in the House of Israel

in a time soon to come
and say:''Amen''.

You're still looking for work?

Have you eaten? Are you hungry?

Shall we go study this even?

My father, may he rest in peace,
rested here.

Let's go dwonstairs,
there is work to do.

And you?

A young man must study
and pray.

Rest and idleness bring boredom.
And boredom...

Idleness brings folly.

You can sleep here
till you find a school.

I will have all I need to study

Through here.


Good evening.


Take these books and
bring them in order.

Good evening.

- Hand me the kashered ones.
- What?

The kashered chickens.

Answer me!

What happened?

Nothing. Sorry.

Leave it.

What is this?

Leave it, it's not...

You can look.

Was it you who drew them?

- They're just scrawls.
- Scrawls.

You had drawing lessons??

In a way. I taught myself.

I can draw you, if you like.

I'll go out a bit.

Where are you going?

Can I?


- How are you?
- Fine.

- You're well??
- Very well.

- That will make a place to stay.
- Yes.

- If you like it...
- Don't do this here.

What does the Talmus say
on ''he who attones''?

He who has sinned against the soul
attones through a sacrifice.

A man who fasts is called a sinner.

A righteous man who imposes
a fast upon himself

and bereaves himself of wine.

Must one call him a sinner?

Must one make a sacrifice?


What is the literal meaning?

God doesn't want men
to inflict pain upon themselves.

He wants him to enjoy life.

Moreover, why has He
created the world?

To do good.

For us to do good.

Rabbi, that doesn't...

that doesn't satisfy me.

The ascetic must make a sacrifice
because he has refused to lighten the challenge.

To be a servant of G-d
is a daily struggle.

One must love the hardships
love to overcome them.

To serve G-d, implies that.

To love the hardships.

Thank you.

Where are you going?

To take a ritual bath,
outside the town.

You're not coming to dinner
on Shabbos?

Would you like me to come?


So come to the spring.

I can't.
I promised Rivka to help.

For how many years
haven't you left Jerusalem?


Come on, immerse yourself.

Is the water fine??


The water is fine.

Papa has arrived!

Papa, what's wrong?

Jacob, bring the glasses.

Like a foretaste of Paradise

The Shabbat is meant for rest

All those who enjoy it
reap benefits of great joy

The hardships before the coming
of the Saviour liberates us

Our deliverance shall come,
sadness and pain will disappear

Have you seen me?

Yes, I've seen.

Where have you studied?

At ''Or Vachesed'' in Safed.

See there...

It's delicious.

Give me a little piece.

Aaron eats to little meat...

- A little piece.
- Eat what you like.

It's too much.

Take a little.

I haven't eaten like that and that's all.

Jacob, eat.

Take a larger piece.

If you don't, you won't grow.

Mama, I don't like that.

All your mother's dishes
are delicious.

Charming family.


What are you doing in Jerusalem?

I study and I econmise.

Where do you live?

In the butchershop.

In the spare room?

It's temporary.

Have you any family here?


Marriage plans?

For the time being, I study.

It will happen, G-d willing.

If you need anything,

don't hesitate.

CUt it into small pieces.

- This?
- Yes.

Into little pieces.

Never cross the arms.
Cut against the slab.

With strength, like this.

Why are you smiling?
Have you ever seen a butcher smiling?

The knife is your tool.
Respect it.

This piece also has to be ground.

I'll do it.

No, you can't do it alone.
I'll help you.

Hold it tight.

Good day to you.

Good day to you!

Good day.

They are waiting for us, Aaron.

They are waiting for us...

All this for me?

This, it's for you.

Ah, my meat.

Go by yourself. I'm busy.

I don't drive.

I'm busy.

Cette soupe populaire
est au bout du monde.

It's alright, Aaron.

Go along. I'll finish by myself.

You don't want to put on a bandaid?

- He's from Safed.
- Who?

Ezri. Your employee.

I know. He studied at ''Or Vachesed''.

I know. They chased him away from there.


He managed to do too many
good deeds.

Discharge him.

What are you doing
Charity and gossip?

My father hired him
and it's his buchershop.

He is starting over with me.

Your father hired him?

Are you sure?

I am starting over with him.


You don't know that.

They say things about him.
I can make inquiries.


I don't know what you have heard
not what they say.

Good that you are knowledgeable
yet in spite of your experience,

you don't know this thing.

G-d has created Ezri
and G-d lets Ezri live.

And only Ezri can serve
G-d in his way.

Look at this layabout.

Isra?l Fisher.

He has been seen with
the daughter of Mordecha?, Sarah.

Another one to cause trouble.

What are you doing here?

What are you doing here??

Do these surroundings inspire you?


I didn't want to disturb you.
Continue drawing.

I've only been scrawling.
You're not disturbing me.


You want to draw my portrait?

Sit down.

Lift your hat.



Relax your face as well.

So, why did you come?

You were looking for me?

No. I forgot something
in the butchershop.

Hold yourself back.

Hold yourself back.

We have the chance
to elevate ourselves,

to overcome...

to fulfill our mission
in this base world.

This hardship cannot be overcome
if one cannot go beyond it.

Why has G-d created desire?

For the purification of the soul.

We have a mission.

G-d did not make
faulty creations.

The ''fault'' does not exist!

Look at this beauty,

this complexity!

You are a master of this work!

The challenge a man must meet
is he himself.

And this is ours.
We alone overcome it.

Any ordinary man
cannot understand this.

Today I went to the ritual bath.

Help me.




Can you help me with the meat?


Turn around.



A bit more.

Rise up.

Help me.

Through here.

Have you finished?

In a moment.


Very good.

Why are you so serious?
Smile. I'm done.



Are you hungry?

I'm hungry.

So, let's eat something.

You haven't already eaten?

No. I waited for you.

You have a lot of work?

Thanks to G-d.

That's good, isn't it?


I met Rabbin Weizman

who is overjoyed
that the butchershop has reopened.

What's the matter?


It's good we're open for the holidays.

Hallowed and blessed be His name.

... that His Kingdom may be announced

in our days
and alive in the House of Israel

in a time near at hand
and all say ''Amen''.


He is continuing to see Sarah.


Isra?l Fisher.

The boy I showed you.

Look at his father.
The man is suffering.

It's hard to find a groom for Sarah.

How are you, Sarah?

Quite well, thanks to G-d.
My order is ready?

Yes. Right away.


Don't run around here.
You know that.

Papa, I have to go to the toilet.

Here you are.

Thanks. How much is it?

You can pay next time.

Get out of here.
You haven't the right to be here.

Get out!

I want to pay.

Mince the meat.

You want to pay. Okay...

90 shekels, if you please

Is my meat ready?

The chicken legs...

- Papa, the toilet...
- Stop!

It's raining.

And if you come back later
this evening?

I'll try.

Till later.

Rise up, my love, my fair one,
and come away.

G-d has promised to the righteous

to sit with them in paradise
in one circle.

So it is written in the Talmud,

it is not only for the righteous.

This promise
is valid for each one of us.

How so?

Even the ignorants of Isra?l

have accomplished
numerous good deeds.

We are all righteous one.
Even the sinners.

If one dons't rise above a challenge,

one must continue to aspire to be good.

He who has succumbed to sin
need not fall into despair.

For G-d will offer him
a new challenge.

When he overcomes this,

even in spite of past transgressions
it will still count for merit.

Your teachings are worth more
than wealth of gold and silver

than wealth of gold and silver

than wealth of gold and silver

than wealth of gold and silver

How can I arive there?

Blessed art Thou, the Eternal,
Master of the Universe,

who brings forth bread
from the earth.

Bon app?tit.

It's delicious.

He has been laid to rest
Menachem Fleischman

Blessed be his memory

May his soul be guarded
among the living

Hold yourself well.



Listen, Aaron.

The guy who is working for you
has nothing to do do here.

What is that supposed to mean?

All this will end badly.

People talk.

He makes people leave the right path.


don't introduce him to our home.

Don't welcome him to our synagogue

nor in our neighbourhood.


I didn't wake up.

Do you know, what time it is?

Why didn't you wake me?

Butchershop certified kosher


This news makes us angry

because of odious crimes
committed in our quarter

by criminals

A terible disaster
threathens the believers

who qui ont p?ti
en voulant porter secours.

We draw you attention to an evil
that has arisen amongst us.

Wicked people are walking about

and they would pass
as pious ones...

Hello, Sarah. How are you?

Fine, thanks to G-d.

Have you seen Aaron?

No, sorry.
He didn't go to the butchershop?

It's closed.

I haven't seen him.

- You haven't seen him this morning?
- No.

... and that he may bring peace.
Blessings and success...


- What has happened to you?
- G-d protect you.

How was the journey?

I had a lot of work.

What is it?

Everything is fine, Rivka.
It's all in your head.


Aaron isn't here?


That's a good sign.


If he left you alone,
that's a good sign.

I would like some shoulder, please.


Could I have a larger piece?

It's fresh, isn't it?

Yes, it's from yesterday