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

Reviews Counted: 72

69%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,118

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

69%
Average Rating: 3.7/5

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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

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Critic Reviews for Fill the Void

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (23)

There is perhaps something ultimately undeveloped about it, but the film is a well acted, well presented piece of work.

Dec 12, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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.

Dec 9, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

Jul 30, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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

Jul 11, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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

Jun 20, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Newsday
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.

Jun 20, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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 http://www.bluefairyblog.com/reviews/2015/5/22/fill-the-void

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

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

½

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

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.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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