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.
Last night, I had the utter pleasure of stumbling across one of my favorite movies, Bridge To Terabithia (2007).
I've only seen it the one time, so I was definitely ready to watch it again.
I plopped right down in front of my TV and did just that.
The magic is still there. I wanted to walk across that bridge with Jess and May Belle every bit as much as I did years ago, so badly I could taste it.
In celebration of that, I'm re-blogging the movie review I posted on my Writingscape at Livejournal in 2008. Where the heck would we be without imagination?
From Writingscape V1.0, originally posted on 2/18/2008
Bridge To Terabithia... (NO real spoilers)
...wasn’t what I expected. It was better. And I would dare say... profound.
I imagine other people who didn’t bother to see it in the theater thought the same way I did at first—that it was just another Pre-teen Adventure meant to compete with other movies of its ilk and dazzle you with Amazing Fantasy Landscapes and Otherworldly Creatures (you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all). Well, I sat down and watched it on satellite this evening. And, erm... no. That expectation was SO off the mark, it’s unbelievable.
A boy, whose imagination manifests itself in art (he draws it all in a plain ol’ tablet), meets a girl whose imagination manifests itself in writing (her parents do fiction). He has the pictures, she has the words. Put together, it is powerful enough to trigger a “bridge” between the real world and an imaginary one. The problems in each world are serious and identifiable, and often crisscross each other, as do the triumphs. Everything solid also had an incorporeal counterpart, unless I was dreaming. And right when I least expected it, the movie threw me a real world curve ball so hard, I wasn’t sure where things would go from there. Would the story spin off into a) The Predictable Cliched Fantasy Resolution, or b) give me something to contemplate (and maybe apply) long after the movie was over?
That would be b). The bridge to Terabithia is the same one I walk over to get to my own stories before I write them, and I should continue using it. Always.
Anyone who is different from The Norm and has had to learn to live with that fact, be you kid or adult, will take something useful and precious away from this story. Anyone born artist, writer, or creator will get it. People who simply chose those titles won’t. (I’m sure you get my drift?)