Religious Filmmaker Takes Movies Into Her Own Hands
Crossposted from Haaretz
The atmosphere on the set of the film “Lemalei Et Hahalal” (“Filling the Void”) is different, special. In a ground-floor apartment in central Tel Aviv’s Sheinkin area, the monitors, lights and other equipment whirl, surrounded by professionals clothed in cool clothes — some holding ever-present cigars or joints — as well as bearded, black-garbed Orthodox men, and Orthodox women in long dresses with wigs or head coverings. This is a curious mixture of the outright secular and the ultra-Orthodox — both groups united by a common goal: to make a movie directed by a newly pious woman, who prowls around the set with a clear agenda.
“Filling the Void” is the first film written and directed by Rama Burstein for the Israeli mainstream audience. Burstein is an ultra-Orthodox woman who lives with her husband and children in Tel Aviv, a few streets away from the studio; she is a graduate of the second class of students at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, in Jerusalem. Among other things, she studied alongside Tali Shemesh, who directed the acclaimed documentary “Moadon Beit Hakvarot” (“The Cemetery Club”).