6.7/10
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21 user 125 critic

Fill the Void (2012)

Lemale et ha'halal (original title)
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When the older sister of Shira, an 18-year-old Hasidic Israeli, dies suddenly in childbirth, Shira must decide if she can and should marry her widowed brother-in-law, which also generates tensions within her extended family.

Director:

Rama Burshtein

Writer:

Rama Burshtein
13 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Hadas Yaron ... Shira
Yiftach Klein ... Yochay
Irit Sheleg ... Rivka
Chayim Sharir ... Aharon (as Chaim Sharir)
Razia Israeli Razia Israeli ... Aunt Hanna (as Razia Israely)
Hila Feldman ... Frieda
Renana Raz ... Esther
Yael Tal Yael Tal ... Shifi
Michael Weigel ... Shtreicher (as Michael David Weigl)
Ido Samuel ... Yossi
Neta Moran ... Bilha
Melech Thal Melech Thal ... Rabbi
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Storyline

A devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi's word are absolute. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Israel

Language:

Hebrew

Release Date:

18 October 2012 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Fill the Void See more »

Filming Locations:

Tel Aviv, Israel

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$59,164, 26 May 2013

Gross USA:

$1,775,316

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,197,615
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The official submission of Israel to the Best Foreign Language Film for the 85th Academy Awards 2013. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode dated 11 December 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim
(uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A disturbing movie
3 November 2012 | by donita51See all my reviews

Over the last dozen or so years, no less than seven films have been made about the orthodox religious community in Israel. These films are:

Forbidden Love (1999); Kadosh (1999); Bat Kol (Inner Voice) (2002); Ushpizin (2004); My Father, My Lord (2007); The Secrets (2007); Eyes Wide Open (2009).

All these films were made by non-religious or at least non-orthodox film makers, and then along came Fill the Void. Its director and scriptwriter, Rama Burshtein, is an orthodox woman who is also a film maker.

Which raises the question whether this new film is more authentic than the previous ones, whether it portrays the orthodox community more faithfully. It should be understood that the orthodox communities in Israel are tightly-knit units, abhorring the outside, modern Western way of life which they perceive as decadent, immoral and corruptive. They still dress as did their ancestors in the Shtetl in Eastern Europe centuries ago, talk mostly Yiddish among themselves and of course, inter-marry only within their milieu.

Fill the Void is indeed about this latter issue, the question of marriage. The questions raised by the protagonists may seem quaint and even amusing to us, but seem of paramount importance to them, as if no other issues occupy their closed life.

This reviewer has no way of assessing the veracity of the facts and can only rely on subjective impressions. The film "rings true", feels true, and the fact that some of the actors come from a religious background adds to the feeling. Viewers might sneer at the seemingly irrelevant questions facing those "strange" people, but the acting convincingly conveys the sentiment that we are indeed dealing with a grave situation.

I came out of the theater thinking not about the heroine, blandly played by Hila Feldman, or about the way she handles her private demons and dilemmas, but about the strange, foreign, incomprehensible community living not a mile away from my house in the same city, yet separated from me by an unbridgeable chasm.

A disturbing movie.


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