The WRSS Jewish Film Festival presents
"Fill the Void", a film of Rama Burshtein
Tuesday, November 22, 7:30pm at the WRSSJCC

Claustrophobia isn't often considered a cinematic asset beyond tales of suspense and horror. But the award-winning Israeli drama "Fill the Void," about a naive 18-year-old girl in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic community who dreams of finding the perfect match in an arranged marriage, capitalizes on its cloistered atmosphere. The compelling story is remarkably focused — even as it hints at such influences as Jane Austen, "The Godfather" and "Fiddler on the Roof" — and the emotional stakes lofty, both for the characters onscreen and, especially, the audience.

Most of the action takes place in cramped if homey domiciles in Tel Aviv, with only a few detours onto sidewalks or inside of a synagogue. Nearly the only modern-day intrusion into this hermetically sealed society is the booming techno-music beats of an outdoor Purim celebration, which are quickly muffled by the closing of a window. 

With skilled deployment of long takes, lingering close-ups, repeated musical cues and meticulous lighting, director-writer Rama Burshtein — a Hasidic insider herself — never allows the intimacy to become too stifling, however. Instead, she vividly depicts a clannish culture that is likely to feel foreign and perhaps off-putting to generations that came of age in a progressive post-feminist era.

FILL THE VOID was the 2012 Venice Film Festival winner for Best Actress (Yaron), and was selected as the Israeli entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards. It was also featured in the Spotlight Program at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

NOTE:  This movie will be the basis for the Adult Study Group session on December 5.  Click for more information.

    Admission: by donation


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