Friday, March 15, 2013

Fill the Void (2012)

Discovery Zone Luxembourg City Film Festival  -as the full title goes- brought lovely Rama Burshtein over, to present her first overwhelmingly successful feature Fill the Void (2012). Audience was too shy to ask important questions during the Q & A sessions -we're in Northern Europe after all- but I was surprised enough to find out for myself that Rama is a smoker and that she became a supporter of the Haredi Jewish community (the most conservative form of orthodox Judaism according to Wikipedia) on her own will, and not as a result of parental upbringing. Last but not least, she is quite humble and she actually feels strongly about respect towards women -her community does show great respect to them, she asserts (even if to some of us the film gives slight hints for the opposite). 

The film is one of a kind; largely made of abstract moments, like yearning for freedom, growing-up, having the right of choice, wanting to be one's first love, still wanting to accommodate family and own cast, sexual tension, shyness, growing intimacy and so on so forth, it is on of the most true and beautiful films I've ever seen. This is a deed by itself, because Fill the Void is not constructed on a strong narrative or on any causative, linear form of storytelling. It goes some steps forward, then some backwards, like life itself. Pretty and young Hadas Yaron wants to and doesn't want to at the same time. She is skeptical, she is scared, she is attracted; yet, she doesn't know what weights more in her head: her original ideas, her vague sense of growing attraction or her mother's suffering. Oh, what a lovely confusion life is, unbearable at times, but not the less fascinating.

Rama had the courage to tell her story in her own original way; she shoots the (cerebral) adventures of a young virgin girl who is asked to marry her dead sister's husband in the most sensitive and elegant way -the protagonistic duo's natural gifts and expressiveness giving a helping hand- and now finds herself rewarded by festivals and critics everywhere. This is a fairytale of film-making, really; you should go and check it out, if it makes it to your local cinema.

* Fill the Void won Best Feature or else was awarded with the Grand Prix by Orange (together with ten thousand bucks) at the Luxembourg City Film Festival some days ago.

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