Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of an orthodox Hassidic Israeli family in Rama Burshtein’s excellent Fill The Void. Burshtein’s film follows Shira (Hadas Yaron), an 18 year old Israeli girl looking forward to her proposed pairing and arranged marriage to another boy her age.
When her older sister Esther dies in childbirth leaving behind her husband Yochay (Yiftach Klein) and infant son Mordechai, Shira’s family is overcome with grief. However, as the months pass and pressure grows on the newly widowed Yochay to take another wife in Belgium and take their grandson Mordechai away from them, Shira’s parents propose she become her brother-in-law’s new wife.
Fill The Void’s intimate camera work and expert direction provide a documentary-like feel to the portrayal of the Jewish rituals surrounding Purim and Mordechai’s bris ceremony. It also brings a level of intimacy to the scenes between two characters discussing private matters and longings.
Even though the film is set in contemporary times, illustrated in a scene where a neighbor’s techno party blares through the walls of Shira’s home during Purim, the film brilliantly and simply depicts the strictures of marriage within orthodox Jewish society for both men and women, giving the film a timeless quality. It is a thoroughly engaging story and an instant classic of world cinema that gets under your skin.
Fill The Void is now playing at Cinema Village, please check it out in the theater.
– M.A ST JOHN (@theReelScoop)