In Review: Fill the Void on DVD

by Amanda Keats on 16/04/2014


When a woman dies during her nine month of pregnancy, she leaves behind her husband Yochay (Yiftach Klein), younger sister Shira (Hadas Yaron), parents and a new baby boy. Though everybody is still dealing with their grief, it is soon agreed that baby Mordechai needs a mother and his father needs a new wife. When it looks as though an arranged marriage may take both father and son abroad, the mother-in-law concocts a new plan – that he marry her other daughter.

Hadas Yaron is a revelation as Shira, a girl torn between desire and duty. She struggles to deal with all the emotion she feels in the wake of her sister’s death but wants to be married and please her family too. It’s a lot for her to take on board but Shira is a strong young woman who really grows as the film progresses. Yaron’s controlled, almost hypnotic performance is stunning. The unspoken heartbreak Yiftach Klein captures in Yochay is similarly understated and just as enchanting.

There is something so universally acceptable about Fill the Void, despite the very specific community around which it is focused. You certainly don’t need to understand the laws and traditions of Chasidic Orthodox Judaism to appreciate the themes of love, loss and family loyalty. This is a quietly emotional story, its roots firmly in the heart of the characters and their struggles to carry on with their lives and find happiness. It is made with love and respect for this community and the result is an intelligent, insightful and beautiful film.

Extras : There is a fascinating live Q&A and audio commentary from writer/director Rama Burshtein and actress Hadas Yaron. These extras offer more insight into this intriguing world – like the fact that only two of the cast members were actually religious.

Amanda has awarded Fill the Void on DVD four Torches of Truth 


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