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Fill the Void (2013)

Hadas Yaron , Yiftach Klein , Rama Burshtein  |  PG |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg
  • Directors: Rama Burshtein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Hebrew
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2013
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DJYJOPG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,018 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Fill the Void tells the story of an eighteen-year-old Shira who is the youngest daughter of her family. Her dreams are about to come true as she is set to be married off to a promising young man. Unexpectedly, her sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child. The pain that overwhelm the family postpone Shira’s promised match. Everything changes when an offer is proposed to match Yochay, the late Esther’s husband, to a widow from Belgium. When the girls’ mother finds out that Yochay may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving Orthodox-Jewish family drama July 18, 2013
Format:DVD
"Fill the Void" (2012 release from Israel; 90 min.) brings a very intimate look into the world of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community. As the movie opens, we get to know Shira, an 18 year old woman who is keeping her eyes open about her marriage options (she secretly has her eyes on a young man whom she meets from afar in the dairy section of the grocery store). We also get to know Shira's older sister Esther, who is nine months pregnant with her first-born and due any minute. Then disaster strikes and Esther dies in labor, leaving a big void to fill in the lives of her loved ones: her sister Shira, her mother, and of course her husband Yochay, not to mention the new-born baby. It's not long thereafter that Yochay is contemplating offers for a new marriage, including one from Belgium, as well as one from Frieda, a friend of Shira's and Esther's, and also Shira herself at the insistence of Shira's and Esther's mother. At this point we are only about 30 minutes into the movie. What will Yochay decide to do? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this movie is a labor of love from writer-director Rama Burshtein, who seemingly has poured her heart and soul into bringing this movie to life, and with great results. Second, we get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community as never before. At no time do the characters feel forced or over the top, but instead they feel so authentic that at several times during the movie I was wondering if these were actors, or real-life ultra-Orthodox people.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Tradition!' October 10, 2013
Format:DVD
One reason to view FILL THE VOID, written and directed by Rama Burshtein, is the opportunity to view the clothing, the mannerisms, the singing (endless), and the other unique characteristics of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community. For those who have never witness this spectrum of Judaism it is an eye-opening experience: religious law, tradition and the rabbi's word are absolute. Marriages are arranged and a woman's outside options are limited, as marriage is a central and crucial moment in their lives. Matches are arranged, decisions about whom to marry are critically important, but apparently the woman always has the right to turn down a prospective suitor. Of importance to note, Rama Burshtein comes form this community and her understanding of all the permutations is obvious.

Shira (Hadas Yaron), a devout 18-year-old Israeli, has come of age and is considering marriage, having met her first serious suitor Yossi (Ido Samuel). Shira's eldest sister Esther (Renana Raz) suddenly dies in childbirth leaving her grieving husband Yochay (the very handsome and talented Yiftach Klein) with a son and no mother to care for the infant. Despite his grief (and the grief of Shira's parents - Irit Sheleg and Chayim Sharir) Yochay decides he must marry. Shira's other sister Frieda (Hila Feldman) declares that Esther had informed her that should anything happen to Esther, Frieda should marry Yochay. Shira's mother, afraid that Yochay will take the offer from a Belgium woman to marry and thus move away with her grandson from Tel Aviv, encourages Shira to marry Yochay.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What would you do? September 24, 2013
By Chrissy
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this movie because it gave me food for thought. It posed basic ethical and consequence questions in a fresh and interesting way. What would you do if you were placed in a situation where your potential future well being and happiness came because of another's death? How much does family loyalty and cultural norms mean to you in the face of your personal truth and honor?

Shira, the would be new wife of her sister's dead husband is confronted with these ethical issues. The writer and actors masterfully show us the journey to the final decision. This movie is also a touching and sensitive snapshot of an orthodox jew's outlook on problem solving; such as the community involvement, family closeness (sometimes positive, sometimes negative) and going to G-D in prayer for help.

I say well done and worth watching a few times to enjoy the quiet messages and symbolism.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family tensions are universal! September 30, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I know a real life story like the one in the film, so I was intrigued. First, there is the general yuck factor about the situation, a widower marrying his deceased wife's younger sister. In the film, the protagonists have to get over that. I admit, I can't, but it didn't interfere with my enjoying this thoroughly entrancing film. The characters are so richly portrayed (and well dressed) and the window into this closed world is lifted. Shira's ( the younger sister ) innocence and doubts never quite leave her, even in the final shot, but that is what drew me in. A wonderful portrait of a close knit family in conflict.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck
Really hate it!
Published 2 days ago by ubergoober
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I found this just okay. I would not bother watching it again
Published 5 days ago by cheryl smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great!
Published 1 month ago by Faith Sumowuo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wonderfully creative story/screenplay; sensitive, thoughtful acting; graceful, economical direction; compelling setting. Everything I admire most in film making. Bravo.
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost unbearably real.
Words alone can't express how fantastic this movie is. I almost disregarded it out of hand before ever watching it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
someone who does not know how Chasidic life is lived cannot coppy it
Published 1 month ago by R.F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant, sensitive insider view of a religious community. Romantic and thoughtful.
Published 1 month ago by Faith Darwin
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Sensitive Story
I was quite surprised at the depth and sensitivity of this film, in which an Orthodox Jewish family struggles to deal with the loss of a daughter and the maintenance of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jack M. Walter
4.0 out of 5 stars The fact of marriage is presented as a source of joy,not romantic love...
Marriage has fallen a long way down in Western culture.However,it’s a surprise when we find it treated with the reverence of an orthodox Jewish community in Tel Aviv,written and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by technoguy
5.0 out of 5 stars ... this movie for her class in college everything worked great for...
My daughter needed to watch this movie for her class in college everything worked great for her to view it on time
Published 3 months ago by Marianne Bryant
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