Director Rama Burshtein has made her debut film about a subject close to her heart – the Orthodox Hassidic community in Tel Aviv.
Fill The Void is about a young woman who comes under immense family pressure to marry her dead sister’s husband after tragedy strikes the family.
Rama Burshtein explained how the idea came about.
“A young girl came up to us. She was very beautiful. She was wearing a lot of jewelry which means she just got engaged. My friend was congratulating her in a very weird way. When she went away she said, ‘See her? She’s about to marry her late sister’s husband.’ That really blew me away.”
The movie received critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival, including Best Actress for Hadas Yaron. It also won seven Ophir Awards, which are Israel’s equivalent to the Oscars.
Burshtein herself became deeply religious later in life and after she graduated from film school she decided to combine the two aspects.
She said: “I was not always religious and I was studying film in a good film school so I brought all the tools inside, and religious people, they don’t go to film school, so they won’t make films. So I think it’s a first, because of that it is so special because it’s an inside look. It’s not someone from the outside trying to interpret a world.”
Fill The Void is on general release in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.