Israeli actress Hadas Yaron on Saturday won the award for best actress at the
69th Venice International Film Festival, for the film Fill the Void, called
Lemale Et Ha’Halal in Hebrew.
The film about a young bride torn between
love and familial obligations premiered at the festival.
Shira, an 18-year-old hassidic woman who is thrilled about her forthcoming
arranged marriage with a young man whom she has only briefly seen in a
Tragedy strikes when Shira's older sister Esther dies giving
birth, leaving the family crushed by grief.
The film, set in the secluded
hassidic community living in Tel Aviv, offers a glimpse into the ultra-Orthodox
way of life, its rigid customs and traditions, but also deals with the wider
themes of relationships and family pressures.
Israeli director Rama
Burshtein brought her own ultra- Orthodox community to the big screen in the
“People don't know much about this world, so it’s not a question of
celebration or criticism, it’s a window into this world,” said the New Yorkborn
Burshtein, who grew up in a secular family but became ultra-Orthodox while
attending the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, where she
graduated in 1994.
“I love this world, I come from it, I chose it, I was
not born in it. But I think we hear many voices [in the film], I think it’s
open,” she told reporters.
Burshtein has spent more than a decade
teaching and making cinema for the ultra- Orthodox community, some of them for
women only, as haredi men are barred from viewing women on the big
She is one of 21 female directors at the Venice film festival
this year, and one of the four competing for the top Golden Lion
Reuters contributed to this report.