Fill the Void is an interesting movie. It is written and directed by Rama Burshtein about a family and their sense of duty in a Hasidic community in Tel Aviv. While their faith doesn’t dictate their actions, it is part of the world that they live it.
Shira (Hadas Yaron) is an 18 year old lady. She is being matched to get married by her mother Rivka acted by Irit Sheleg. Every girl within her age is already married or eager to be married. Her old sister is married and pregnant with the first child. Shira is excited by the prospect but at the same time ambivalent about it.
During the family’s celebration of Purim, her older sister goes into labor. She dies while giving birth. This leaves Yochay acted by Yiftach Klein a widower with a new born child. Shira and her mother becomes the babysitter of the new baby.
Yochay finds himself wanting to remarry and have a wife who can help him raise the child. A match has been made as a candidate for Yochay’s new wife. She is a widow with children of her own and lives in Belgium.
Rivka is devastated by the news. She lost her daughter and now she has to live apart from her grandchild. As a solution to her problem, she wants Shira to marry Yochay. But there’s one problem. Shira wants to marry for love. No matter how much she likes and admires her brother-in-law, she can’t see herself as his wife.
Fill the Void manages to be set in a religious community without resorting to tackle issues of doctrine or dogma. It is a movie worth watching and probably one of the best from Israeli cinema at present. It gives viewers a rare look into the lifestyle of the Orthodox Jews. The director is one but he makes the movie interesting for a secular audience.