Fill the Void – DVD review

Rama Burshtein, 2013

Artificial Eye

Winsome young women in old-fashioned dress whispering and giggling, matchmaking, bashful glances – the initial impression is of a Hassidic Jane Austen. And, sure enough, tragedy arrives, visited on a devout Jerusalem family and bringing emotional turmoil to the rigorously ordered structure of ultra-orthodox Jewish daily life.

The central dilemma falls on Shira, the teenage daughter torn between girlish dreams and womanly duty. With patient, sensitive handling and frequent use of close-ups, writer/director Rama Burshtein (herself orthodox) enables an intimate insight into a rarely glimpsed world and brings out the human heart that beats beneath centuries of religious ritual.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.