25 Great Gay Sex Scenes Saga – Movie #8: Eyes Wide Open (2009)

Eyes Wide Open Cover Image

Title: Eyes Wide Open

Actors:

Ran Danker… Ezri

Zohar Strauss… Aaron

Director: Haim Tabakman

Synopsis: A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community.

The Backlot Rating:

Hotness – 10

Romance – 10

WTFactor – 2

Eyes Wide Open is a Jewish film, set in Jerusalem in a strictly Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood. It follows the encounter and eventual love affair between Aaron, a married, highly respected member of his neighbourhood, and Ezri, his new apprentice. When homosexuality and conservative religious views clash, we all know what the end result will be, and this film is no different. However, I was not expecting the exact ending portrayed in this movie and, despite its irritating attempt at provoking intellectual and psychological suspense, it definitely left me stunned.

I have no real criticisms of this movie. My initial thought that the love story didn’t really follow a natural progression and seemed contrived was very premature and, as the movie went on, I was believed more and more in the story’s development. What I will say, though, is that, while Aaron’s character was very much cultivated, Ezri’s was left so unattended that I knew no more about him at the end of the movie than I did at the beginning. For instance, at the beginning of Eyes Wide Open, we come to realise that Ezri (who isn’t originally from Jerusalem) has made his way to the Holy City to find or be with “a friend”. A short while later, we understand that the friend is a male, very likely an ex-boyfriend who could no longer handle the shame and guilt of acting upon his homosexuality. Although the movie’s focus is really on the eventual bond which grows between Aaron and Ezri, towards the end of the movie, we see Ezri heading back to find the ex-boyfriend. It isn’t that this particular storyline is stupid or unbelievable, it’s just that there is so much about Ezri and his past that we aren’t made aware of that this arc seems disjointed and slightly off-putting.

Regardless, Eyes Wide Shut was otherwise a triumph, and a beautiful story to boot. I think I loved most the experience of viewing a movie which wasn’t set in our usual Western, Christian culture. I thoroughly enjoyed the Orthodox Jewish setting of the film, and it made me realise that – in spite of culture, country or religion – prejudice, discrimination and misunderstanding of homosexuality is a universal phenomenon. Eyes Wide Shut handled the connection between this discrimination and the Jewish faith in a way that was emotionally profound without it coming off as overwhelmingly depressing or trite. I’m thrilled that this movie made its way on the list, because it made for very wonderful viewing.

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Eyes-Wide-Open-Restraint

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Eyes-Wide-Open-Anticipation

Eyes-Wide-Open-Kiss

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Eyes-Wide-Open-Comforting

4 thoughts on “25 Great Gay Sex Scenes Saga – Movie #8: Eyes Wide Open (2009)”

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