April 12, 2024

Family and Religious Ties Explored in New Film


The OPC will present a film preview on May 8 to members from the directorial debut of Rama Burshtein, who is an active member of the Orthodox community. Set in Tel Aviv, Fill the Void tells the story of an Orthodox Hassidic family who in the midst of tragedy must grapple with some painful decisions.

Eighteen year old Shira, played by Hadas Yaron, who won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival, is about to be married to a promising young man of the same age and background.

Shira welcomes the marriage and is excited about her future. But on the verge of realizing her dream, her world is shattered with the death of her older sister, Esther, who dies in childbirth on the Jewish holiday of Purim. Deep in mourning, the family postpones Shira’s wedding and struggles to deal with their grief.

Even though it feels far too early, Esther’s husband Yochay bows to pressure from his family to remarry. A potential match is arranged with a widow from Belgium who refuses to move to Israel. Desperate to keep her grandchild close, the only thing that remains of her beloved daughter, the mother of the family makes a startling proposition. She proposes a match between Shira and the widower setting up a profound dilemma for Shira who will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty.

The director Rama Burshtein, who was born in New York City, will be on hand after the screening to talk about the film and answer questions. In the Director’s Notes, Rama elaborates on her motivation. “I set out on this journey out of a deep sense of pain. I felt that the ultra-Orthodox community has no voice in the cultural diaglogue… . Our political voice is loud — even boisterous — but our artistic and cultural voice remains muffled and faint. I am not good at agendas and politics. What I am good at is telling a story.”

The film preview is courtesy of Donna Daniels Public Relations and will be screened for the OPC on Wednesday, May 8 at the SONY Screening Room at 7 p.m. located at 550 Madison Avenue between 55 and 56th streets. Guests will check in at the Sky Lobby and then proceed to the seventh floor screening room.Reservations are essential since seating is limited. Please call the OPC office at 212-626-9220 or e-mail.

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