Venice: “Fill the Void” looks at Hasidic community (Video)

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VENICE, Italy — Israeli director Rama Burshtein provides an intimate look inside the private world of Tel Aviv’s Hasidic community in the film, `’Fill the Void,” which premiered this weekend in competition at the Venice Film Festival.

A Hasidic Jew herself, Burshtein said she wanted to create a portrait of family life within the community without presenting it in conflict with the secular world.

`’The Orthodox world is so interesting it does not need to cope with the secular,” Burshtein told a news conference Sunday. “It can be very interesting and the drama can be very strong inside.”

The film is about an 18-year-old girl named Shira who struggles with whether she wants to marry her brother-in-law, Yochay, after her sister Esther dies giving birth. The decision is all Shira’s, despite the strict formality within the community, and the movie ultimately is a story about facing a difficult decision and becoming a woman.

Director Rama Burshtein (L) poses on the red carpet with an unidentified guest during a screening for the movie “Lemale et ha’ chalal (Fill the void)” at the 69th Venice Film Festival September 2, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Director Rama Burshtein poses for the photo call of the film ‘Fill The Void’ at the 69th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

`’It’s all about emotions and choices and what leads you to do what you do,” said actress Hadas Yaron, who played Shira. `’I’m also young. But Shira is different from me because she is not familiar with all these feelings she experiences for the first time.”

The movie shows intimate rituals of the Hasidic community, from Esther’s funeral to her infant son’s circumcision ceremony immediately after, Sabbath dinner and the workings of the matchmaker, who helps brokers marriages as girls reach Shira’s age.

The community, while residing inside the bustling and secular city of Tel Aviv, is very self-contained. In one scene, as the men study, someone gets up to close the windows that allow sounds of secular Tel Aviv to drift inside.

`’This moment in the movie really gives the idea of being in the environment,” said Yiftach Klein, who plays the brother-in-law Yochay.

Burshein, 45, was born in New York and graduated from film school in Jerusalem in 1994. During that period, she became deeply religious. She has since been making films within the Orthodox community to help promote self-expression.

`’I love this world. I chose this world. I was not born to this world,” she said.

She said, however, that the Hasidic world did not appear inviting when she first contemplated it from the outside 20 years ago.

Director Rama Burshtein (2nd L) and the cast of the movie “Lemale et ha’ chalal (Fill the void)” pose on the red carpet during a screening at the 69th Venice Film Festival September 2, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

`’Part of that was because how I thought they saw women,” she said. Once inside, however, she said she found she liked traditional roles between men and women.

`’I love my role as a woman. I feel it is true. I chose it. It doesn’t stop me from doing films, but the way I see the home, between a man and a woman, I love it like this. It is more sexy.”

Source: Huffington Post

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8 thoughts on “Venice: “Fill the Void” looks at Hasidic community (Video)

  • September 3, 2012 at 9:32 am
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    power to her for showing up real and not changing her wardrobe for anyone, Mi Kamch Yisroel

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:16 am
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    You go girl, good for you. You can be 100% frum and still get to top from there.

    Love it

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:25 am
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    awesome! Kudos to you Rama, we are all proud of you

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:57 am
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    I love the whole concept, they are such a cute couple, she is talented and nothing held her back

  • September 3, 2012 at 11:42 am
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    Is this the real husband or one of the actors?

  • September 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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    She is the “Lipa” version in Italy!

  • September 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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    Whom was she wearing, Vera, Dolce, CK, Mizrachi or G&G clothing of Boro Park?

  • September 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm
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    i am sure the “Gown” will now be the craze in the fashion world.

    I am ordering one today

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