Everything Is Illumination: Film Analysis

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The film “Everything is Illuminated” directed by Liev Schreiber (2005) follows the journey of a young man named Jonathan who travels to find more information and an understanding of his family roots. Guiding him on this trip are two natives, a grandfather and his grandson Alex. This journey of self-discovery is one that impacts not only Jonathan in his eagerness but forces his guides to uncover their own truths just the same. “The Apostle” directed by Robert Duvall (1997) shows the trials of a man named Sonny who is a preacher and is faced with life struggles and challenges. While he endures these challenges, he continues to hold on to his faith in God as it brings him to lead a predominantly black church. “The Apostle” shows the beauty in …show more content…
In this movie we can see this through the character of Alex’s grandfather. We are initially introduced to him at the dinner table we can see how the grandfather perceives himself to be blind. He even takes this believed disability to the extent of getting a guide dog and wearing sunglasses with blacked out lenses both inside and outside of the house. Although he has gone to great lengths to show his blindness is in fact real to him we then see how his family is completely aware that he has his full vision and they even make sure to inform the audience that the grandfather knows he is pretending as well. This scene stands as a foreshadowing to the man we then learn that the grandfather is, someone who spent years living in a state of denial. In order to stay alive during the time of the Holocaust, grandfather believed that the only thing he could to was deny his faith in Judaism. This denial also caused a trickledown effect to his grandson Alex who seems to have to true sense of self. Barbara Ryklo-Bauer digs deep in her article to find not only the physical hardships her mother endured while in concentration camps but the emotional effect this traumatic occurrence had as well. Ryklo-Baur even begins her writing by telling how this research was difficult for her to do as the daughter of someone who experienced such a tragedy in their life. Yet, rather than shy away from the subject or pretend these things didn’t happen she still understands the growth and healing that can occur from facing and talking about the things that happened during this time. The character of the grandfather in “Everything is Illuminated” shows the spiraling downfall of refusing to address history, eventually causing him to take his own life. Just as Ryklo-Baur says, taking time to discuss and evaluate events we resent such as these can cause for personal growth as well as a growth amongst human

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