'Fill the Void' (PG)

 

Traditional and personal desire clash in this drama about an arranged marriage.

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By Rene Rodriguez rrodriguez@MiamiHerald.com

In Tel Aviv, 18-year-old Shira (Hadas Yaron), the youngest daughter of an Orthodox Hassidic family, is preparing to be married to a nice young man (she spies on him at the supermarket like an excited schoolgirl). But on Purim, her older sister Esther dies while giving birth, and the tragedy forces the family to postpone the wedding.
Esther’s husband Yochay (Yiftach Klein) is too grief-stricken to think about remarrying, although he considers a union with a widow from Belgium. If he accepts, though, he will take his child, an act the family cannot accept.
Fill the Void, which has been directed clearly and simply by Rama Burshtein, is about the clash between cultural duty and personal desire. When Shira’s mother proposes she marry Yochay, she is taken aback, and he rejects the idea outright. Their first meeting alone goes badly; the situation is simply too awkward. But pressure from their families intensifies, gradually robbing them of any choice. The wonderful final shot in the movie is eloquent without using dialogue, illustrating the great sacrifices we sometimes make for the people we love.
Cast: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir. Writer-director: Rama Burshtein.Producer: Assaf Amir.A Sony Pictures Classics release. Running time: 90 minutes. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Mild adult themes. In Miami-Dade: Sunset Place; in Palm Beach: Shadowood, Living Room, Delray.

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