Fill the Void 2013

Fill the Void

Critics Consensus

Graceful, complex, and beautifully layered, Fill the Void offers a sympathetic portrait of an insulated culture by exploring universal themes.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 74

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,119

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Movie Info

After a young Hasidic woman dies in childbirth, her 18-year-old sister (Hadas Yaron) is asked to cancel her upcoming marriage to a promising young man and marry her widowed brother-in-law (Yiftach Klein) instead.

Cast & Crew

Chayim Sharir
Rabbi Aharon
Rama Burshtein
Screenwriter
Asaf Sudry
Cinematographer
Sharon Elovic
Film Editor
Yitzhak Azulay
Original Music
Ori Aminov
Production Design
Chani Gurewitz
Costume Designer
Michael Koren
Casting
Ori Aminov
Art Director
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News & Interviews for Fill the Void

Critic Reviews for Fill the Void

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (8)

  • [Rama] Burshtein oppressively captures the claustrophobia of a close-knit community where every daily act - from opening a door to eating - is a religious ritual.

    September 6, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • As opposed to the bleak view of sexual subjugation in Kadosh, Amos Gitai's 1999 film about Hasidic marriage, Fill the Void sees Burshtein fortrightly and wittily asserting that this is how her community lives.

    February 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • An intelligent and moving examination of the possibilities of personal freedom within the strict confines of religion and tradition.

    December 16, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There is perhaps something ultimately undeveloped about it, but the film is a well acted, well presented piece of work.

    December 12, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Fill the Void is as well-versed in the rules of matchmaking as a Jane Austen novel, and it bends them as artfully as wicker.

    December 12, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Its last five minutes are so extraordinarily enigmatic, you're certain the subject of innocence, guilt and attraction has been addressed on a deep level.

    December 12, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fill the Void

  • Jun 26, 2015
    Israeli powerhouse Rama Burshtein is the first female Orthodox Jewish director to make a film outside of the community, for wider distribution. She wrote and directed "Fill the Void," a film about the marital prospects of Shira, who realizes she wants to marry her sister's widower. Read more at http://www.bluefairyblog.com/reviews/2015/5/22/fill-the-void
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2014
    I feel that the film is definitely worth watching although some of the scenes and the ending seem to be end at the wrong moment; when you really want to find out what a characters says next or what he/she does. I suppose these could be only minor flaws in an otherwise fantastic film, but these details did make it anticlimactic for me. Perhaps this brings a welcomed ambiguity that is lacking so often in many films. Despite this, I cannot deny the emotional charge with which the leads bring to their performance. I keeps you captivated.
    Wildaly M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 14, 2013
    Yet another culture that I do NOT get. Poor, poor girl. This is a roughly made Hebrew film. Interesting to watch. Kind of slow...
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2013
    Certainly this film has good intentions. Rama Burshtein's reason for making this movie was to show the misconceptions about arranged marriages in orthodox Jewish communities. For one, I did not know that the woman made the decision as to whom she gets to marry. That's certainly something new. But, at the same time, it's not exactly a favorable portrayal of arranged marriages either because the woman has absolutely no freedom to do as she pleases and to marry whomever she wants to marry after a period of courting. Basically, the way the arranged marriages work in this film, it's almost like a contract and the woman is used as a bargaining chip. So while the movie certainly sheds some misconceptions about arranged marriages, it also brings up other issues about the freedom these women have to live their lives as they wish. And I understand it's completely different culture and I'm in the outside looking in. But from looking at a character like Frieda, a similar metaphor would be being picked last for a team sport, she's the oldest one in her family and no one has made an offer to marry her. Understandably, this very obviously affects her emotionally as she feels that she isn't worth marrying, for whatever reason that may be. And I think that's a problem as these women are nothing more than negotiating tactics. And I don't mean to shit on an entire culture, that's just how it looks to someone who's not living in that bubble. But I did think this film was really good as it doesn't easily provide easy answers to the questions it raises. Basically the movie deals with Shira struggling to make a decision about whether or not to marry her sister's widower, as he has decided he's moving to Belgium and taking his son with him. Shira's mother was devastated by the death of Esther and she wouldn't be able to handle Yochay leaving with her grandson, so she proposes that Shira and Yochay get married. Right off the bat you have someone who's only proposing this for purely selfish reasons. It's understandable that Rivka, the mother, wouldn't want for her grandson to be taken away, especially after the death of her daughter, but she's putting her own daughter's life and happiness at risk by pressuring her to marry him. It's a well-written character. Really, all the characters in the film are well-written, because their motivations are complex and not so black and white as things are in most movies. Shira struggles with the fact of whether to do this for her family, basically sacrificing spending years together with a man she does not like, in order to giver her family, read: her mother, a couple of years of happiness with their grandson. I got the impression that Shira only did this for her family, as I don't think that, for one, second she was ever truly interested in Yochay and she sacrificed her own happiness for that of her family. Yochay also has complex motivations, he only wants for his son to have a mother, perhaps because of the culture he was raised in. Even if that means also being with someone he isn't particularly interested in. I liked this movie because it chose to tell its story in a more subtle and nuanced manner. This is an example of a movie where less is more. And the movie is stronger because of that, it's layered and complex. Understandably, some people may not have the patience to sit through this movie because of the way it is filmed and edited together, the movie gives off the appearance of not saying much. But it does have a lot to say about self-sacrifice, loss, importance of family, and other themes. This is a very good film, with some excellent acting and writing. It might not be for everybody, but it's a damn good movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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