i was dead. now i'm alive.

first of all...the german translation of the movie title is thou shalt not love. my friend nele says it's because it was made in the holy land the germans expect it to have a biblical sounding title. germans are so strange when it comes to translating movie titles.

back to the movie. eyes wide open / עיניים פקוחות was haim tabakman's first movie. it's set in an ultra-orthodox neighborhood in jerusalem, maybe mea shearim?

aaron is a married man and father. he inherited his father's butcher shop and falls in love with ezri, a yeshiva student who got kicked out and has become homeless.
 aaron hires ezri and allows him to stay in a room above the shop. they become friends, study torah together and eventually develop feelings for each other.
 ezri has a reputation and the men in the neighborhood warn aaron, ask him to get rid of ezri. to not even bring him to shul. when aaron doesn't listen, they threaten him. tell him that he and his family would have to leave. tell him that his wife might not be even leaving with him. tell him that he will lose everything.

a second story line shows the relationship between engaged sarah and israel. aaron has heard the gossip on them but seems sympathetic when he sees both of them leaving her family's store together. later though he and a few other men go over to israel's home and threaten him to end this inappropriate relationship. is aaron doing this because he wants to cover up his own inappropriate relationship or is it because there always seems to be a discrepancy in judging your own doings and those of others?

eventually aaron ends the relationship. he goes home to his wife, but decides that he can't continue living like this.

a great scene in the movie is showing aaron and is wife getting intimate. she says: "i went to the mikwe today". he starts moving their two beds together while she keeps brushing her hair. then both start undressing themselves under the sheets. there is no passion. a few minutes later the two men have their first intimate moment together. it is the absolute opposite of the earlier scene, it is full of passion and lust.

it makes you wonder how one could live in such an oppressed society? where you are torn between your faith and your sexuality as well as your environment. where there is so much pressure because you always seem to be watched by the people around you.

eyes wide open was one of the most depressing movies i have ever seen. it was a quiet movie and i prefer it to most movies who pick up a subject like that, brokeback mountain for example. i can’t really explain why. i just remember falling asleep during brokeback mountain and thinking that there were so many clichés in it.
one shouldn't watch eyes wide open while being in a bad place. there is no hope whatsoever to be found in the movie.

where i grew up


harry mulisch

harry mulisch died last night.
it seems to be the year of the passing of some of my personal heroes.
it started with j.d. salinger whom i obsessively - i know, it's so cliché - read in my youth. some months later theatre director and social critic christoph schlingensief died way to young. last night it was mulisch's term. he was not too young, he was 83. but like schlingensief he died of cancer.
harry mulisch's novel de ontdekking van de hemel / the discovery of heaven was the first book i read in dutch. a few times i doubted if i would have the strength to finish it. but i did and i actually enjoyed the struggle. harry mulisch was an elitist. he expected his readers to be able to read latin, french, english, german and obviously dutch. but his use of the dutch language made it totally worth to overlook this - in my opinion - character flaw. i don't think i would have been able to learn to appreciate and love the dutch language had it not been for him.


i sometimes detest modern art. maybe i just don't get it, but some of it is just pretentious crap.
today i went to künstlerhaus bethanien. after watching a video called 'komm stirb mit mir' by via lewandowsky i most certainly had the urge to buy a gun and shoot myself.
a little girl sings 'komm stirb mit mir' ('come die with me') for about eternity...at least it felt like it went on forever. it also seems kind of sick to me to have a small child sing these lyrics. but who am i to judge, right? the video itself did not really impress me. it was kind of strange i guess. lewandowsky used lots of filters to intensify the colours and there was also a lot of movement in the video. somehow it made me feel a little sea sick. i couldn't convince myself to watch the whole thing, but sitting in the gallery, i was still able hear the girl's voice and it was quite nerve wrecking. maybe a little creepy even. it made me think of all those horror movies i have never watched.
so the question that keeps popping up is...why? what is your point, via? do you want to disturb us, shock us? there isn't that much that can shock this society these days. we've been polluted by shocking images since we were born! so please, please, please help me understand!

luckily i also had the chance to watch a video i actually did enjoy! daniel beerstecher's work "50°60'59,50"N / 8°40'35,30"O" can be found here.