Fill The Void 90 minutes – Director: Rama Burshtein, Principal Actors: Hadas Yaron (Shira), Irit Sheleg (Rivka), Yiftach Klein (Yochay), Hila Feldman (Frieda)
In the culture of the Ultra-Orthodox world, this movie is set in modern-day Tel Aviv.
Eighteen year old, Shira, becomes engaged in an arranged marriage to someone she has not yet met. When her married sister dies in child birth, the drama begins. The wedding is put on hold as the characters decide how to play out the changes in their lives. Shira’s mother, Rivka, fears losing her new grandchild as her son-in-law, Yochay, considers remarriage to a widow in Belgium (whom he, too, has not yet met). As Shira’s mother maneuvers the web of a male-dominated world with its strict traditions she becomes a matchmaker to her daughter and her son-in-law. As we weave our way through the story, Shira is left to consider all the implications of family relationships and her limited options.
This ultra Hassadic community forsakes all others outside their community. Since this reviewer knows little about the culture of the Hassadic Jewish community, I found it an interesting, insightful peek into their lives. This is a strict community of “believers” who offer their young people few options and limited input in the important decisions in their lives. The presentation is a bit biased, however. Do any of the females rebel against having so few options? Do any leave their communities? Do any of them discuss with each other their lack of decision-making, of even the lack of option of speaking to a male within their own community? Although it gives this authentic glimpse, more questions without answers may leave the viewer frustrated. What is the longing of their hearts?
Acting is as restrained as the Hassadic community.
This is a fascinating look into a world I will never know or understand. ★★★ Plus