Fill the Void (Lemale et ha’halal)
Israeli drama, a winner at Venice Film Festival 2012, following devout 18-year-old Shira (Hadas Yaron) – the youngest daughter of an Orthodox Hasidic family in Tel Aviv. When her older sister tragically dies in childbirth, Shira is pressured to marry the widower.
“Shira is about to be married off to a promising young man of the same age and background. It is a dream come true, and Shira feels prepared and excited. On Purim, her 28-year-old sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child. The pain and grief that overwhelm the family postpone Shira’s promised match. Everything changes when an offer is proposed to match Yochay – the late Esther’s husband – to a widow from Belgium. Yochay feels it’s too early, although he realises that sooner or later he must seriously consider getting married again. When the girls’ mother finds out that Yochay may leave the country with her only grandchild, she proposes a match between Shira and the widower. Shira will have to choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty.” (Venice Film Festival)
Beyond the Edge, (G)
Beyond endurance, beyond imagination.
Adventure, a mix of documentary and dramatic reenactments, following Kiwi mountaineering great Sir Edmund Hillary and his ascent of Mt. Everest. In 1953, with Tenzing Norgay, the pair become the first to reach the world’s tallest summit. WETA visual effects artist Chad Moffitt makes his front-of-camera debut as Hillary. Directed by Leanne Pooley (The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls).
“Pooley transports the viewer back in time sixty years to the foot of that seemingly unconquerable mountain, and recreates an incredible journey to the top. While many know that Sir Edmund Hillary (Moffitt) and Tenzing Norgay (Sonam Sherpa) were the first men to stand on the summit, few know how it happened. Using rarely seen footage, and no narration other than the words of the expedition members themselves – culled from hours of archival interviews – Pooley recreates the conditions (including what seems now to be only the most rudimentary equipment), the relationships, and the socio-historical context of the undertaking that had much of the world holding its breath.” (Toronto Film Festival)
The Christmas Candle (G)
Believe the miracle.
Family Christmas tale adapted from bestselling author Max Lucado’s novel about the sleepy town of Gladbury, a village steeped in tradition and a myth about an angel that blesses a candle with a miracle on Christmas Eve every 25 years. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end. Stars Hans Matheson (Sherlock Holmes), Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Sylvester McCoy and Susan Boyle, making her feature acting debut.
When David Richmond (Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David’s quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen.
Before Midnight (M)
Director Richard Linklater revisits distant lovebirds Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) in Greece, nine years after being reacquainted in Before Sunset (2004) and almost two decades since they first met on the train in Before Sunrise(1995).
After spending the “best summer ever” with him in Greece, Jesse sees his son off back to his mother in the U.S. But as he returns to Celine and their two twin daughters, the global sense of separation begins to weight down on him. Treated to a luxurious seaside hotel by their Greek friends, Jesse and Celine head down for a night of romance while their kids are looked after. But what was intended as an evening of passion – akin to Jesse’s novels – turns into an uncomfortable confrontation as their fears and insecurities begin to surface…