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.
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