Fill the Void (Lemale et ha'halal) 2.0 stars

For a moment, Shira’s (Hadas Yaron) dream man stands opposite her, a rabbi’s son nervously using the tzitzit sticking out from beneath his vest to polish his specs. All this changes when her older sister dies in childbirth and their mother (Irit Sheleg), desperate to maintain control over her surviving grandchild, pressures her ultra-Orthodox 18-year-old daughter into marrying her brother-in-law (Yiftach Klein). The film excels at exposing a patriarchal belief system so antiquated that to this day calls for women to walk 10 paces behind men in public, segregation of the sexes in the synagogue, and arranged marriages. Visually, it’s fuzzier around the edges than Shira’s angora sweater, and melodramatically speaking, just as soft. The first film from writer and director Rama Burshtein. 2012.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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