About This File
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED (Full-Length Movie) - A young Jewish American flies to the Ukraine in search of his grandfather's past. He has a photograph and the name of a village. He hires the Odessa Heritage Tours, made up of a gruff old man and his English-speaking grandson. The three, plus grandfather's deranged dog, travel in an old car from Odessa into Ukraine's heart. Jonathan, the American, is a collector, putting things he finds into small plastic bags, so he will remember. Alex, the interpreter, is an archetypal wild and crazy guy. Alex asks the old man, "Was there anti-Semitism in the Ukraine before the war?" Will they find the village? The past illuminates everything. Movie Synopsis: A young American Jewish man, Jonathan, goes on a quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather 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 anti-semitic grandfather and his over-enthusiastic grandson, whose fractured command of English, passion for American pop culture, and constant chatter threaten to make the worst of every situation. But what starts out as the tour from hell turns into a meaningful journey, with an unexpected series of revelations that will change all of their lives. Everything is Illuminated chronicles a young, Jewish-American writer's attempt to research his grandfather's life in Ukraine. Jonathan, who has the same name as the book's author, is attempting to find his grandfather's shtetl, Trachimbrod. He has only a few maps and a photograph of a woman named Augustine, who is said to have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Jonathan's guide on his trip is Alex, a young Ukrainian man. They are both twenty-one. Their driver is Alex's grandfather, who claims to be blind. Accompanying the men is Grandfather's seeing-eye dog, Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior.
The film stars Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson, Peter Lawford, Lee J. Cobb, Sal Mineo, John Derek, Hugh Griffith, Gregory Ratoff, Felix Aylmer, David Opatoshu, Jill Haworth, Marius Goring, Victor Maddern and George Maharis.
The movie was shot entirely on location in Cyprus and Israel.
The film is based on the events that happened on the ship Exodus in 1947 and dealing with the founding of the state of Israel around 1948.