Jane Austen, With Fur Hats

Rainy Tuesday, a rare day off, and I indulged myself as I seldom do, by going to a movie. In the daytime! My choice was “Fill the Void,” an Israeli movie about the insular world of the Haredim. It came to my notice through my Jane Austen Google alerts; the New York Times review, in the lede, compared the heroine to one from Jane Austen; that intrigued me. Living in Brooklyn, one also cannot fail to be intrigued by the Haredim, who seem to go about their lives as if the 20th century, and even the 19th, and maybe the 18th (and the Enlightenment! and the Haskalah!) just never happened. Obviously, it cannot be that simple, but that’s how it looks from the outside.

The Jane Austen comparison was far more apt than the reviewer may have realized. Continue reading