Film poster for "Blessed Is The Match" with lady standing on a hill.
Film poster for "Blessed Is The Match" with lady standing on a hill.
The story of Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian poet who was captured by the Nazis while trying to rescue Jews in Hungary, including her mother


Regular price $459.00


10+ AWARDS | "Absorbing" - Boston Globe | "A lasting elegy to self-sacrifice" - Los Angeles Times

Jewish Studies • Jewish History • History • Music • Music History • Musicology  • European History • Holocaust • Hungary • Israel • Palestine • Women’s History • Poetry

Date of Completion: 2008 | Run Time: 78 minutes Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript  Director: Roberta Grossman | Producers: Roberta Grossman, Marta Kauffman, Lisa Thomas, Sophie Sartain, Lisa Hofheimer, and Pavlina Zipkova

At only 22, Hungarian poet Hannah Senesh made the ultimate sacrifice – having already escaped Nazi-occupied Europe for Palestine and freedom, she returned, parachuting in behind enemy lines in a valiant effort to save Hungary’s Jews, including her mother, from deportation to Auschwitz and certain death. Captured immediately upon crossing the border into Hungary, Hannah was tortured and taken to a prison in Budapest, yet she refused to reveal the coordinates of her fellow resistance fighters - even when they also arrested her mother, Catherine. Hannah became a symbol of courage for her fellow prisoners, encouraging them to remain in good spirits, never losing faith in her Jewish identity, even as she was led out to be executed by firing squad.

Narrated by Academy Award® Nominee Joan Allen, BLESSED IS THE MATCH is a truly moving memorial that brings to life this Holocaust heroine through interviews with Holocaust historians, eyewitness accounts from those on the rescue operation as well as in the prison, rare family photographs and the writings of Hannah and her mother. The film recreates Hannah’s perilous and heartbreaking mission, reconstructs her defiant months in the Gestapo prison and – through Hannah’s diary entries and poetry – looks back on the life of a talented and complex girl who came of age in a world descending into madness.

Los Angeles Times Review 
"A lasting elegy to self-sacrifice"

Boston Globe Review

Entertainment Today Review
"Heartbreaking. Senesh's poetry beautifully completes this harrowing doc."

LA Daily News Review
"Remarkable story! Blessed Is the Match movingly achieves its goals"

The Boston Phoenix Review
"Tragic and moving."

Tulsa World Review
"Poetic! Pays tribute to a woman who was inspired to act."

LA-ist Review 
"Beautiful! A heroine worth remembering"

Popcorn Reel Review 
"Triumphant, inspirational and moving!"

JVibe Review
"An inspiring tale of what one person did in the face of so much evil"

Campus Circle Review
"Intriguing and heart-wrenching from start to finish"

Metro New York Review
"Riveting! Remarkable heroism."

Time Out New York Review

Audience Award, Best Documentary New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary Houston Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary | Denver Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary San Diego Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary | Tucson Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary | Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary | Washington Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary | Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival
Best Documentary | Garden State Film Festival
Crystal Heart Award Heartland Film Festival


Roberta Grossman speaks to students and communities about Jewish history and documentary filmmaking as a tool for social justice. Grossman received the 2018 Washington Jewish Film Festival’s Annual Visionary Award, which recognizes “creativity and insight in presenting the full diversity of the Jewish experience through the moving image.” In the past ten years, she has directed and produced four feature documentaries about Jewish history and culture – BLESSED IS THE MATCH (2008); HAVA NAGILA (The Movie) (2012); ABOVE AND BEYOND (2014), WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY (2018), and RECKONINGS (2022). Grossman’s work also deals with women’s rights in SEEING ALLRED (2018), and Native American history and contemporary struggles in 500 NATIONS (1995), HOMELAND: FOUR PORTRAITS OF NATIVE ACTION (2005) and ISHI'S RETURN (2018). Grossman is a three-time recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is the co-founder of the non-profit production company Katahdin Productions. She received her undergraduate degree with honors in history at UC Berkeley and her M.A. in film from the American Film Institute.