The fact of marriage is presented as a source of joy, not romantic love or sexual attraction,
This review is from: Fill the Void [DVD] (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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Initial post: 17 Feb 2015 23:14:40 GMT
Such a strange film. Yes Shira wants to marry but why? It seems the women are 2nd class citizens; having to walk behind the menfolk, not allowed to join in the sing-songs at supper, kept behind screens at religious ceremonies and do nothing but cook. An interesting look at the life of these people but a slow moving film with no depths to the characters and an aunt with no arms. Very strange.
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