10+ AWARDS | "Absorbing" - Boston Globe | "A lasting elegy to self-sacrifice" - Los Angeles TimesJewish 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."
"Beautiful! A heroine worth remembering"
Popcorn Reel Review
"Triumphant, inspirational and moving!"
"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
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH ROBERTA GROSSMAN
Director of RECKONINGS, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, BLESSED IS THE MATCH, & HAVA NAGILA