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Graceful, complex, and beautifully layered, Fill the Void offers a sympathetic portrait of an insulated culture by exploring universal themes.
All Critics (72)
| Top Critics (23)
| Fresh (64)
| Rotten (8)
There is perhaps something ultimately undeveloped about it, but the film is a well acted, well presented piece of work.
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.
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.
It's an artful, character-driven drama that constitutes a minor miracle of empathy.
Burshtein creates a one-of-a-kind portrait that nonetheless transcends its setting, and even its worldview; the dynamics are global.
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.
Almost all of the film's characters are so well-rounded, and their personal and moral nagging so well-defined, that every single shot feels full of life and vitality. Most commendable of all, Burshtein treats her subject with delicacy.
For better or worse, Burshtein elides a specific critique of the religious ideology that has forced Shira into marriage in the first place.
Fill the Void is an astonishing film, a masterful piece of art that feels like the work of an established veteran but is instead the debut of a woman who, like the married women in her film, sees her family as the center of her life.
[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.
Burhstein's slow-paced, carefully edited work illuminates concepts of filial piety, female agency, and patriarchy.
It's not a great movie, but it's a humane and touching one.
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
Yet another culture that I do NOT get. Poor, poor girl. This is a roughly made Hebrew film. Interesting to watch. Kind of slow...
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.
In "Fill the Void," Esther(Renana Raz) and Yochay(Yiftach Klein) are on the verge of expecting their first child when they also receive the happy news that Esther's younger sister Shira(Hadas Yaron) has just gotten engaged. And then tragedy strikes as Esther dies in childbirth. In the meantime, Shira and her mother Rivka(Irit Sheleg) help out best they can by taking care of the baby. However, that might not be for much longer as Rivka hears about a marriage proposal for Yochay from a widow in Belgium.
"Fill the Void" is a gently subversive movie about the practice of arranged marriages in the Hasidic community in Israel that succeeds by leaving more things unsaid from its great opening scene in a supermarket to its ambiguous final shot. To be fair, it could be said that the parents only have the best interests of their children at heart but what happens when they don't? For example, Rivka does the wrong thing for the right reasons while Shira does the right thing for the wrong reasons. None of which will matter if everybody is not happy in the long run.
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