I DVR'd this movie, Fill The Void (2012, Sony Pictures, Hebrew, English subtitles) about a month ago. I finally got to watch it last night. Though I wasn't surprised by the ending itself, I wasn't expecting why it happened.
Fill The Void gave me a glimpse into a culture that I've only heard about, that I've never seen up close, from the point of view of a writer/director who is a part of that culture and very proud of it.
It was certainly worth my time.
My synopsis: When her sister dies in childbirth, a devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to turn away from the young man she wants to wed in order to marry her late sister's husband and be mother to her newborn nephew. 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. Does Shira do the right thing by her family and community and keep her family intact, or does she do the right thing for herself?
My only complaint is that some of the plot twists are sooo subtle, if you're not careful you might miss them completely. But that's simply how writer/director Rama Burshtein rolls. If you didn't know she loved Jane Austen and the romantic, rigidly-ruled worlds Austen created, you'd probably guess that truth while watching this film.
A thought I had before, during, and after watching this is how the movie's title sums up in a nutshell exactly what is expected of my gender, no matter who she is, where she lives, her age and station in life, the year, or what the problem is. Community-wise, family-wise, everyone looks for us to fill the void.
If you like action adventure, car chases, and big explosions, this ain't for you. If you crave bodice-ripping and sundry, keep walking. If you like watching a young person trying to figure herself out in one of the most challenging of circumstances, in a subtle, relatable way, put it on your list and check it out.
4/18/2014 0 Comments
My pal Dianne Dalby Haley just posted something on her Facebook wall that reminds me why something as simple as a hug means the world to me.
Back during my late mother's fight against multiple myeloma, one thing we did as soon as she went into remission in 2007 was go through procedures to harvest her good stem cells in case the myeloma came back. (Stem cell transplants with your own cells means a much lower chance of your body rejecting them, as opposed to those from a donor.) It was a good thing we did. Two years later, almost to the day, in 2009, we had to wake Mama's 10 million Little Guys up out of their cryo-sleep and go to war against the recurring cancer with, yes, a transplant.
Incidentally, the day I took Mama home from her grueling two-week transplant ordeal was also a day that left no question that I was, sadly, electronically challenged. While waiting for the hospital valet to bring my car around, I thought I was taking a picture of her but took a video instead. I mean, who does that. LOL!
Having a stem cell transplant means having your immune system shut completely off -- and hoping it restarts -- in order to kill all of the cancer cells in your body. Which also means that anything, no matter how small, can kill you for the duration. Even the sniffles, a common cold, you name it. Which meant a year of wearing masks, avoiding public places, completely sterilizing her surroundings, and NO HUGS from anyone.
I don't think you heard me. After 47 years of hugging my mom practically every day and never being apart, we couldn't hug each other for an entire year. While she was fighting for her life as I watched.
The Obama fist-bump came along at just the right time. We sustained ourselves with that. Boy, was it hard.
That day in November 2008, when Mama's oncologist said, "Okay, ladies... HUG!" and we flew into each other's arms, cannot be described by any words to be found in any language on this planet.
I understand the power of a hug and the things it can do, the strength it can give you to endure what you must just for the promise of getting another one.
If the world had more campaigns like the one below, there wouldn't be as much room for the campaigns that divide us.
Receive this in the spirit it is meant. I know just as well as anyone else that extra caution and skirting the dangers people present are how we survive in this day and age. The problem is, we've gotten so good at keeping evils out of our private physical space that we keep everything else out, too.
I can get a bit testy about my personal space. But this guy... I would have hugged.
Thanks, Di, for deciding to pass this on. :)
POST: The Buddhist Vision: This Was Voted YouTube Video Of The Year. Watch It And You'll See Why. (2006)
All it took... was one.