A young Jewish American (Elijah Wood) embarks on a journey to locate the woman who saved his father from the Nazis in a Ukrainian village during the Second World War. Upon his arrival in the foreign land he is met by another young man and his blind grandfather who will be his guides and they soon get lost.

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A very meaningful debut in which, along with the characters, we\'re compelled to consider the impact of the Holocaust.

Everything Is Illuminated is the debut feature from Actor \' turned Writer/ Director, Liev Schrieber, condensing the mock memoir by Jonathan Safran Foer. Elijah Wood, fresh from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, plays obsessive collector, Jonathan Safran Foer, a young Jewish American searching for the woman who saved his Grandfather\'s life during the Second World War. Arriving in Ukraine, he meets his guides, whose ramshackle business, involves touring American Jews as they hunt for information about their obliterated ancestral past. Eugene Hutz, from the New York, Gypsy punk band, Gogol Bordello, in his first film role, plays Alex, the translator, whose array of mangled English and warped Americanisms, provides much of the humour in the film. His Grandfather - Boris Leskin, is the grumpy old guide and driver. He\'s convinced that he is blind and is accompanied by Sammy Davis Jnr Jnr, his crazed seeing-eye bitch. What starts out as purely Jonathan\'s journey, soon becomes an equally intense experience for his tour guides. Still recovering from the Soviet occupation of Ukraine, they continue to deal with the atrocities of the Second World War. As the road trip deteriorates, the four (including dog), get lost in the Ukranian countryside, which was actually filmed in and around Prague, captured beautifully by Cinematographer, Matty Libatique, whose previous work includes Darren Aronosfsky\'s Pi and Requiem for a Dream. The four have numerous quirky encounters, but the film begins to get serious when they finally make it to the corners of the map that no longer exist, what was once Jonathan\'s grandfather\'s village, Trachimbrod. Elijah Wood\'s expressionless mannerisms, certainly fits his character \' on paper. Jonathan\'s practically an alien being in Ukraine, with his vegetarian diet, his fixation with collecting tangible memories in zip lock bags, and his strait laced suit and glasses. But I still wanted to shake some life into Wood\'s performance. Luckily, the dynamic between Grandfather, Boris Leskin and the boundlessly energetic Eugene Hutz is more amusing and challenging. Hutz proving that a musician turned actor, can actually be bearable, especially if they have a talented actor as their Director. Schreiber has worked hard to combine humour, whimsy and real emotion, but he seems more comfortable directing the absurd, so the energy lags when we\'re presented with weightier subject matter. There are numerous examples of excellent first novels, that are ruined when adapted for film and while this isn\'t one of them, Everything Is Illuminated doesn\'t overwhelmingly succeed either. But it\'s still a very meaningful debut. Along with the characters, we\'re compelled to consider the impact of the Holocaust, and the significance of secrets and friendship, making the films\' message quite effective - that through all our differences, we are still connected.