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Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2009)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 265

My Rating

Movie Info

Kyle Bring writes, directs, produces, and stars in this Christian-themed short film, which follows the parallel paths of a detective (Chris Dooley) and his criminal prey (Clayton Oberquell) as they find themselves surprisingly united by their quests to discover God's purpose in their lives. ~ Sandra Bencic, Rovi


Documentary, Drama

Sophie Sartain

Apr 13, 2010

Balcony Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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January 29, 2009:
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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (7)

Intent on seeing Senesh as a symbol of hope and resistance, Blessed Is the Match is content to focus on the tragic legend that her life became.

February 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Roberta Grossman's film is an ungainly hybrid of straight-up documentary and ingenuous re-enactment.

February 5, 2009 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Blessed Is the Match tells us just about everything we might want to know about her -- except why she did what she did.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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In a way, the dry tone fits.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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Grossman has a robust story to tell, and she's found remarkable World War II footage to help her tell it.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: NPR
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Using archival footage, interviews and actors, writer Sophie Sartain and director Roberta Grossman celebrate Senesh's fierce courage without idealizing her.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

(The film) goes beyond the symbol to find the flesh and blood woman who sacrificed her life for her beliefs and her people.

May 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Roberta Grossman's film gracefully integrates tasteful re-enactments into a straight-up documentary approach, but, deliberately steers away from the more interesting questions of Senesh's character ...

April 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

An excellent tribute to a young woman who has been, for too long, an unsung hero of World War II.

January 11, 2010 Full Review Source: IdentityTheory

It is impossible not to be moved and inspired by this story, and saddened by a life cut short.

August 11, 2009 Full Review
The Jewish Advocate

Roberta Grossman's film is a moving portrait of the heroic Hannah, often referred to as a modern Joan of Arc, but whose story also reminds us of another beloved Holocaust diarist and victim, Anne Frank.

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source:

Roberta Grossman's film nicely emphasizes the Seneshes' familial bonds while painting a persuasive portrait of a vibrant yet socially isolated young woman.

February 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

The film makes clear in readings from Hannah Seneh's diaries and poems that her dedication to building a Jewish state has shaped her legacy.

February 6, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Despite the technical lapses, the film's message is one that demands attention.

February 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A captivating, inspirational, engrossing and profoundly illuminating experience.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

A documentary that pays tribute to an idealistic young woman whose courage enabled her to sacrifice her life while trying to rescue Jews in her native Hungary during World War II.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Meticulously researched actions of this idealistic young woman surmount the film's tone of an official eulogy, but it struggles throughout to bring her back to life size.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source:

Never shows exactly how Senesh planned to rescue Jews.

January 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Journal International | Comment (1)
Film Journal International

Her story has inspired millions, so why does she comes across as such a pill in the new documentary Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh?

January 28, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

Audience Reviews for Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh

A compelling documentary that told the story of Hannah Senesh, a young, idealistic Jewish woman and poet who returns to Hungary from Israel in the final days of WWII, to help her people escape from Hitler's Final Solution. In many ways, her story was similar to many others. "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" comes to mind, but each story is unique and bears telling. In this, the filmmakers wove archival footage with historical still photos and live action recreations of the events in her courageous, but somehow foolhardy, life. The tale it tells is fairly accurate because Hannah was a dedicated diarist who left a detailed record of how she wound up where she did. The tragedy, for me, is that she sacrificed her own young life; but in doing so she caused her mother to come to the attention of the authorities. That selfless action may have resulted in her mother surviving when so many others were shipped off to the death camps. I found this very moving, although it really had nothing new to say, except to remind us that there were many heroes of that period whose stories have yet to be told. I am glad I now know hers.
July 18, 2011
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

"Blessed Is the Match" is a partially rewarding documentary about the life and times of Hannah Senesh who was raised in Budapest before emigrating to Palestine, like many other Jews in the years before World War II. It is there that she volunteers for a military mission to parachute behind enemy lines where she died at the age of 22. Even though the objectives of her mission were not achieved, the documentary points out that it was at least successful in giving hope to Hungarian Jews through a growing sense of Jewish nationalism, just as the Holocaust was becoming reality there.

It is curious that the most pertinent information comes from background material. At the same time, I don't think we really get to know Hannah, with the emotional highlights coming from the testimony of survivors. Since a lot of the documentary is made up of dramatizations, it stands to reason that a more effective approach in telling the story of her life might have been a feature film.
May 10, 2011
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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