The Matchmaker (2012)
Arik, a teenage boy growing up in Haifa in 1968, gets a job working for Yankele Bride, a matchmaker. Yankele, a mysterious Holocaust survivor, has an office in back of a movie theater that shows only love stories, run by a family of seven Romanian dwarves in the seedy area by the port. Yankele introduces Arik to a new world, built on the ruins of an old one. As Arik begins to learn the mysteries of the human heart through his work with Yankele, he falls in love with Tamara, his friend Beni's cousin. Tamara has just returned from America and is full of talk of women's rights, free love and rock and roll. The disparate parts of Arik's life collide in unexpected, often funny and very moving ways as he lives through a summer that changes him forever. Avi Nesher's latest film mixes comedy with drama as it tells a coming-of-age story unlike any you've ever seen before. -- (C) Official Site … More
as Yankele Bride
as Clara Epstein
as Yozi Burstein
as Meir the Librarian
as Arik Burstein
as Uncle Nadgi
as Tikva Abadi
as Nili Burstein
as Moshe Abadi
as Benny Abadi
as Arik Burstein - Adul...
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Critic Reviews for The Matchmaker
At heart an unexpectedly complex film about love, but also an examination of Israel in flux, a country with one foot in the past and another in the future - a weight that may never fully vacate Israeli shoulders.
The shadow of the Holocaust hangs over this unique Israeli coming-of-age film, which deals with a special kind of survivor's guilt.
Nesher ... has a populist touch, showing a sure hand with the numerous subplots and never allowing us to lose sight of his characters' humanity, even the mostly pathetic villain of the piece.
This is a sweet, bittersweet comedy, well-executed if perhaps a little heavy on anecdotage.
A different kind of coming-of-age story, one infused with the lingering horrors of the Holocaust.
The Matchmaker is to fine drama what gefilte fish is to lox. Hold the cream cheese.
Though aided by beautiful views of Haifa, some amusing entertainment, and flashes of poignancy, the appeal is mostly heavily laden, cross-generational nostalgia.
The film intelligently portrays how, even years later, the memories of trauma can be enough to inhibit a person from finding happiness - and consequently, how essential love is.
Arik's coming-of-age story and the personalities he encounters along the way express the hopes and fears of a country awash in unsettling history.
Feels like Nesher is simply mashing several stock elements together and gracelessly parading them around.
The Matchmaker combines the tender tone of a film like Cinema Paradiso with a clear-eyed, street-level vantage on Israel's summer of the Six-Day War.
The film ultimately fails to treat history as anything but a string of melodramatic reference points for moody characters haplessly trying to find love.
It sounds like a throwback to an earlier, more traditional style of Israeli filmmaking but it instead provides a view of that country that's as satisfyingly eccentric and unexpected as anything we've seen.
Points to Nesher for maintaining an even balance between the darker and lighter shades of his palette, not to mention the subtlety with which he moves from one to the other.
[It weaves] fable with realism, coming-of-age innocence with adult grief, and guilt with romanticism.
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