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

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    Mark A Super Reviewer
    Jul 18, 2011

    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.

    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.

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    May 10, 2011

    "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.

    "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.

  • Feb 20, 2011

    Interesting portrait of an inspired personality.

    Interesting portrait of an inspired personality.

  • Nov 10, 2010

    lovely movie a must see movie

    lovely movie a must see movie

  • Oct 16, 2010

    Not seen by too many viewers, should have received more recognition.

    Not seen by too many viewers, should have received more recognition.

  • Nov 18, 2008

    Yes, surprise yet another SLIFF (http://www.cinemastlouis.org/fest) screening... This was AMAZING. A modern day Joan of Arc story. At the young age of 22 (and younger) to have such talent, such resolve, such kind courage. It was an exceptional documentary on the Hungarian poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, and resistance fighter. I'm so glad I saw it and know about this heroine I had never before heard of. It's not just the story that is exceptional, but the documentary mixed up historical footage, family photos/records, and re-enactments to give a 3 dimensional look at her struggle and her strength.

    Yes, surprise yet another SLIFF (http://www.cinemastlouis.org/fest) screening... This was AMAZING. A modern day Joan of Arc story. At the young age of 22 (and younger) to have such talent, such resolve, such kind courage. It was an exceptional documentary on the Hungarian poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, and resistance fighter. I'm so glad I saw it and know about this heroine I had never before heard of. It's not just the story that is exceptional, but the documentary mixed up historical footage, family photos/records, and re-enactments to give a 3 dimensional look at her struggle and her strength.

  • Nov 12, 2008

    Very well thought out and presented docu-drama of Holocaust heroine. A must-see for school kids and their parents.

    Very well thought out and presented docu-drama of Holocaust heroine. A must-see for school kids and their parents.

  • Nov 10, 2008

    incredible and affecting story

    incredible and affecting story