"In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine."
— Milan Kundera
I don't know how I missed the movie Everything is Illuminated when it came out five years ago. Surely, if I'd seen a trailer, I would have taken note - the film brings together so many different elements that resonate quite deeply with me: magical realism, Jewish history, a distinctly Slavic style, a quest into the past... Where was I when it was released? What was I doing? How did it so entirely escape both my sister's (a Slavic film buff) *and* my attention? I don't feel that I was even remotely aware of it.
Equally curious, is that while I was oblivous of its existence for 5+ years, as of about a month ago, I haven't stopped hearing about it. References, questions, mentions of "everything is illuminated" has been *all over* - even the Kundera quote above was something I just stumbled across.
I took the universe's hint and it became something of a quest to watch the film, which, after multiple set-backs, I *finally* managed to do a couple nights ago.
Highly recommended. Set in the Ukraine about an American boy searching for the truth behind an old photograph of his grandfather and "Augustine"... it's heartbreaking, and funny, and surreal, and an all-around charming movie. Go see it if you also happened to miss it. Though I still don't know exactly what I was supposed to get out of it yet... perhaps that bit will come later... or maybe I also ought to read the book - ha - is that gauche?
Photo is by Tim Walker - appropriately, I thought, of a Russian household interior.