Fill the Void 2012

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(15) IMDb 6.7/10
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Israeli religious drama. When Esther (Renana Raz), the eldest daughter of an Orthodox Hassidic family, dies during the birth of her first child, plans for her younger sister Shira (Hadas Yaron)'s marriage are put on hold while the family grieve for their loss. Yochay (Yiftach Klein), the child's father, decides to leave Tel Aviv for Belgium to start a new life with another woman but Esther's mother is determined not to lose her only grandchild and demands that Yochay marry Shira in order to keep the family together. As a result, Shira is forced to choose between marrying the man she loves or acquiescing to her mother's wishes...

Starring:
Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 30 minutes
Starring Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg
Director Rama Burshstein
Genres Drama
Studio CURZON FILM WORLD
Rental release 14 April 2014
Main languages Hebrew
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 30 minutes
Starring Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg
Director Rama Burshstein
Genres Drama
Studio CURZON FILM WORLD
Rental release 14 April 2014
Main languages Hebrew
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Nov. 2013
Format: DVD
"Fill the Void" (2012 release from Israel; 90 min.) brings a very intimate look into the world of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community. As the film opens, we get to know Shira, an 18 year old woman who is keeping her eyes open about her marriage options (she secretly has her eyes on a young man whom she meets from afar in the dairy section of the grocery store). We also get to know Shira's older sister Esther, who is nine months pregnant with her first-born and due any minute. Then disaster strikes and Esther dies in labor, leaving a big void to fill in the lives of her loved ones: her sister Shira, her mother, and of course her husband Yochay, not to mention the new-born baby. It's not long thereafter that Yochay is contemplating offers for a new marriage, including one from Belgium, as well as one from Frieda, a friend of Shira's and Esther's, and also Shira herself at the insistence of Shira's and Esther's mother. At this point we are only about 30 minutes into the movie. What will Yochay decide to do? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this film is a labor of love from writer-director Rama Burshtein, who seemingly has poured her heart and soul into bringing this film to life, and with great results. Second, we get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community as never before. At no time do the characters feel forced or over the top, but instead they feel so authentic that at several times during the movie I was wondering if these were actors, or real-life ultra-Orthodox people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By caledoniagirl on 19 July 2014
Format: DVD
Slow and dreary, sorry. I love a slow-developing plot, I love foreign films, I love angst but this just didn't have any spark or an ounce of joy to lift it from its gloom. There is so little dialogue that it's hard to see any real character development. Apart from soulful eyes and tears there is nothing to indicate any personality or warmth in the main characters. The clothes, the atmosphere, the lighting all feels stifling and for me this film just never took off. A real disappointment.
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Format: DVD
Marriage has fallen a long way down in Western culture.However,it’s a surprise when we find it treated with the reverence of an orthodox Jewish community in Tel Aviv,written and directed by a member of that community,Rama Burstein,who wrote and directed it.This is about an arranged marriage in the Haredi tradition,a way of cementing social order.The film opens with Shira(Hadras Yaron),daughter of Rabbi Aharon,accompanied by her mother Rivka(Irit Sheleg) to glimpse a prospective young husband in a supermarket.The fact of marriage is presented as a source of joy,not romantic love or sexual attraction.Shira glows with the prospect of union with the solemn stranger chosen for her.Shira shares her joy with her pregnant older sister Esther and Esther’s husband,Yochay(Yiftak Klein).

The director has left open through a form of comic suggestion that the female is not obliged to accept the suggestions of parents and Rabbis:women are pressured to make the decision at the right time,but the decision of whom to marry is theirs.Esther dies giving birth to a son,Mordechai.It is announced that plans are afoot for Yochay to remarry,which will mean him moving to Belgium with Mordechai.Rivka suggests he might marry Shira instead.Yochay is far better-looking than the man she would have married, and he’s a romantic and tender soul,however he has a child and has been married before.There is a kind of chemistry between him and the soft-spoken, accordion-playing Shira.There are scenes between the two where there is a conflict between erotic desire and truthfulness and duty,with the former winning out.The film is finely acted,Sudri’s cinematography creates a distinctive and seductive visual style,with shallow focus,low angles and highly composed groupings.Worth a look for fans of Jane Austen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue Head on 11 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Really enjoyable and insightful into the community. Excellent acting by the whole cast. A gentle love story set in Tel Aviv.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are few films which shine a positive light on the world of the Charadi (ultra Orthodox Jewish) community and this is one of them. It deals sympathetically with all the characters involved in the prospective marriage of the main character, Shira. Despite this, it is not a sugary portrayal of this community as it continually makes you ask questions throughout the film, a sign of a great film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda S Butler on 19 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sensitively directed. The Acting is beautiful, and one is left with a feeling that in the end love soes perhaps come ahead of duty.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Stunningly beautiful (and accurate!) portrayal of a Chassidic family and the drama in their lives. No potshots or political points. Just a touching story, well told and amazingly acted. I can't recommend this film enough.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KIRA AUJLA on 10 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
I am an avid world cinema fan and love my foreign films. I really was excited to watch this film as one knows very little about true Yiddish culture particularly an orthodox one so getting ready to watch with my glass of wine and UNFORTUNATELY the protagonist and the Director (not quite sure), kept talking throughout the film. So its so difficult to watch and absorb as there are two 'active things' going on at the same time.
This inevitably left me trying to read the subtitles and listen to the voices at the same time was absolutely impossible.
So disappointing and im pretty sure this film is very good and very interesting indeed, but no way of me finding out!
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