May 01, 2013

Fill The Void (2012)

Fill The Void (2012)
Directed by: Rama Burshtein
Country: Israel

Review: “Fill The Void” takes a deep look into an orthodox Hasidic community in Israel. The film portrays their culture with all its creeds, festivities, and rituals, but the central theme here is marriage and how the family poses a huge influence on young women’s decisions on this matter. The story’s protagonist is Shira (Hadas Yaron), an 18 year-old young woman who is happy to be engaged with a successful man of her age. When her older sister dies during childbirth, her mother tries to persuade her to marry her brother-in-law. This peculiar situation was meant just to keep the newborn close to the family. Beautifully shot by newcomer Rema Burshtein, whose credibility is above suspicion since she belongs to an orthodox Jewish community, “Fill The Void” embraces the matter with extreme sensibility and in a non-intrusive way, putting a whirl of complex emotions in each character. Each time Shira changes her mind, we can feel the weight of her decision and the pressure that surrounds her. The persistent religious chants helped to reinforce this sense of oppressiveness and anguish. Burshtein’s smart vision doesn’t hide some problems in terms of pace and unchanged mood throughout the film, although it seems clear that restrained tension was an option and not a limitation. The brilliant performance by Hadas Yaron was awarded in Venice and Israel.

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