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Ivana's Movie Reviews (60)

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Fill the Void ( Lemale et ha'halal ) 
You don't have to do anything, darling!
3/4 stars

In this drama we met Shira, a 18 years old girl who is very excited about her arranged marriage. She met his engaged man and she liked him. But suddenly, when her older sister dies, the equilibrium of the whole family is on her shoulders when all her circumstance shows that the place in her life is to fill the void that her older sister left in the family.

She has to deal with her unknown and denied emotions, the desires of her family, the responsibility of becoming the wife of her sister's widower and mother of her nephew, and also keeping the harmony imposed by the Jewish system.

An idea from her mother, starts to guide toward a solution and every member of the family have their process to assimilate this proposal. We can see this in their non-expression phiz, hiding and containing an agonizing pain; in their slow, difficult and clumsy dialogue; and feelings expressed with serenity and prudence. In this transition to a new stability, the movie is focus in the youngest daughter, which seems lost, trying to glad everyone, and trying to understand the contradictory circumstance where she is told that she is free to decide and she doesn't have to feel under pressure, but the attitudes of the people around say the opposite.


With this movie, settled in Tel Aviv, we can peep through the keyhole and see a little bit about this way of living : their celebrations, the social environment, the dresses, the continuous negotiation between the members of the family and the rabbi, the relation between men and women and the Jewish faith. The director, Rama Burshtein, is an orthodox Jewish who shows the sacrifice and the respect to this way of living, and how hard it could be.

It was shot mainly in the inside house. It doesn't have soundtracks but we listen live music from the religious pray and also from the accordion played by Shina, which it seems to be her oasis of meditation. For me, the emotions is the main point of this movie, seeing people trying to be fine but in the eyes of Shina, I could perceive her emptiness. Even at the end of the movie, when the pain made her be more assertive in her dialogue, in the limit of her weakness, her self-concept and her feeling of not being right, but that's what she has to do.

A couple of quotes I liked: <self-compassion doesn't fit you>. <You're lack of discretion>. <How can I help to a defeated man?>.

A beautiful and grey movie were the dialogue doesn't really mind.


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