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Fill the Void (Lemale Et Ha’ Halal) Israel / 2012

“I don’t know when I’ve ever seen a film as eerily perfect in tone and taste as Fill the Void.” — The Weekly Standard Sweeping up at the 2012 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Oscars), this ground-breaking feature is the first film to be made by an ultra-orthodox* Jewish woman for a general audience. Following triumphant screenings at last year’s New York and Telluride Film Festivals, Rama Burshtein’s debut affords a glimpse into a somewhat exotic, secret and sealed world. At 18 Shira (Haras Yaron, who won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival), the youngest daughter of an ultra orthodox family, is faced with a choice not unlike those of a Jane Austen heroine. When her elder sister, Esther (Renana Raz) dies, Shira’s mother, Rivka (Irit Sheleg), suggests a match for her daughter in a desperate attempt to keep her newborn grandchild close to her. Fill the Void boldly emphasises both the loneliness of the heroine’s predicament and its implications for those closest to her.

90 mins / Hebrew (English subtitles)

Director — Rama Burshtein

Category — Drama & Desire