Tag: Israeli

Fill The Void

July 29th, 2017 — 4:44am


Fill the Void-nf

By sheer coincidence, after we had just previewed Menashe on this blog, the next film in our Netflix queue is the 2013 Israeli film about Orthodox Hasidic Jews (in Hebrew with subtitles).

Fill the Void examines the orthodox tradition of arranged marriages. The movie centers around 18-year-old Shira (Hadas Yaron) after Esther (Renana Raz) her older sister tragically dies in childbirth. Esther is survived by her newborn son and her grieving husband Yochay (Yiftach Klein) as well as her parents and sister. Shira is now of marriageable age and is considering possible candidates provided by the matchmaker and of course is being considered by eligible men. Yochay is being “offered” a woman who might move to Belgium if he were to marry her. The idea of losing touch with their newborn grandson is horrifying to the grieving grandparents which makes them want Shira to consider Yochay.

This film is a sensitive and penetrating view of the orthodox community steeped in this tradition of prayer and customs. It also suggests the complicated perhaps guilt-ridden feelings that Shira might have as she considers becoming a substitute wife for her handsome brother-in-law to whom she is ambivalently drawn to as he is to her.

Director/writer Rama Burshtein knows well the community about which this film revolves. This allows the storyline to be developed in some depth. The setting, costuming, covered heads, flowing beards, attractive head coverings, chanting, rocking and singing prayers and the conflicted theme of this storyline are all very genuine and realistic. The photography and lighting are done particularly well. This movie does fill a void in depicting the subject matter in this setting that most people are unfamiliar. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Foreign, Romance


February 23rd, 2012 — 5:03pm


Footnote – sp  Imagine a father and son both working in the same scholarly professional  field.  The son receives wide recognition that has always eluded the father. One day the father receives a phone call telling him that he has finally been awarded the countries top award for work. in his field. The son receives a frantic phone call to come to a special meeting where he was told that his father was mistakenly notified by the person who made the call who thought she was calling the son. This is part of the original premise of this screenplay by Joesph Cedar who also directed the movie  and earned for this Israeli entry one of the five nominations for best foreign films in this year’s Oscar race.  This film examines the father (Sholomo Bar Aha)  son (Lior Ashkenazi ) relationship in the context where the father does not respect the academic work of the son . The movie is set in the esoteric world of Talmudic scholars specializing in philology (which is the study of language in written historical documents), which in this case takes place at an academic department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Bar Aha who is a well known television and stage actor in Israel,  has very few lines in the film which he dominates with his presence and his ultimate dilemma . The unique plot is riveting at times and while there are universal conflicts embedded in the story, some of the lack of empathy that father has for son and son has for his own son will be difficult to identify with by most of the audience. You will leave the film, stimulated and provoked, but not likely very satisfied.(2011),

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Foreign, Uncategorized

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