Eyes wide open, Haim Tabakman, 96 mins (12A)

Starring: Zohar Strauss, Ran Danker, Tzahi Grad
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The Independent Culture

There is The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name; and within a close-knit orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of present-day Jerusalem, there is The Love That Dare Not Even Whisper It.

Aaron (Zohar Strauss) is a family man and kosher butcher who takes on a young student Ezri (Ran Danker) as his apprentice – and then falls calamitously in love with him. Haim Tabakman's debut feature is subtly observant of this narrow community, and points up the irony of Aaron's taboo-busting relationship: these ultra-religious men are so exclusive in their maleness it seems hardly surprising that passionate attachments should form. "Beware an impure meat," runs the disapproving gossip of Aaron's shop, not quite appreciating its own double-entendre, while his loyal wife Rivka (Tinkerbell Ravit Rozen) hardly knows which way to turn. This joins the 2003 documentary Trembling Before G-d on the niche – or is it merely under-reported? – subject of gay Hasidic Jews.