Fill the Void (2013)



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

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Movie Info

Eighteen-year-old Shira (Hada Yaron) is the youngest daughter of the family and is about to be married off to a very promising young man of the same age. On Purim, her twenty-eight-year-old sister, Esther (Renana Raz), dies during childbirth, leaving her husband to care for the child and postponing Shira's promised match. When the girls' mother finds out that Yochay may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower, which leaves Shira to choose between her heart's wish and her family's wish to keep the child with them. FILL THE VOID was the 2012 Venice Film Festival winner for Best Actress (Yaron), and has been selected as the Israeli entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards. It will also be featured in the Spotlight Program at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (c) Sony Classics
PG (for mild thematic elements and brief smoking)
Art House & International , Drama
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Hadas Yaron
as Shira
Yiftach Klein
as Yochay
Irit Sheleg
as Rivka
Chaim Sharir
as Aharon
Raiza Israeli
as Aunt Hanna
Razia Israely
as Aunt Hanna
Hila Feldman
as Frieda
Renana Raz
as Esther
Yael Tal
as Shifi
Michael David Weigl
as Shtreicher
Ido Samuel
as Yossi
Neta Moran
as Bilha
Melech Thal
as Rabbi
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Critic Reviews for Fill the Void

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (23)

This is an extraordinary first film, nerve-tingling in its intensity, and assembled with a finesse and control even the great Austrian director Michael Haneke might envy.

Full Review… | December 8, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Beautiful and mysterious, the[se] first glimpses are an ideal primer for the Israeli film, which never rushes to spell out the meanings of its subtle and quiet moments.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

It's an artful, character-driven drama that constitutes a minor miracle of empathy.

Full Review… | July 11, 2013
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Burshtein creates a one-of-a-kind portrait that nonetheless transcends its setting, and even its worldview; the dynamics are global.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Top Critic

Burshtein has achieved a gripping film without victims or villains, an ambiguous tragedy drawing on universal themes of love and loss, self-sacrifice and self-preservation.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

[Burshtein] vividly depicts a clannish culture that is likely to feel foreign and perhaps off-putting to generations that came of age in a progressive post-feminist era.

Full Review… | June 14, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fill the Void

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

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


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.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


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
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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