Much of Fill the Void plays out in warmly lit close-ups against backgrounds soft and fuzzy. The style conveys the intimacy of the situation, but also the isolated, unto-itself world where the movie takes place: a strict Orthodox sect in present-day Tel Aviv. The rules of behavior within this community are old, inflexible, and ruled by men. For filmmaker Rama Burshtein—herself a member of Israel’s Haredi community—the film’s achievement is to suggest, with great delicacy, how an 18-year-old woman might carve out a tiny space for the unlikely possibility of getting what she wants. Sort of.
That doesn’t come across as a triumph, but it is an evocatively rendered process.