Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The meteoric emotional and intellectual development of Hungarian Jewish poet Hannah Senesh coincided neatly with the rapid-fire rise of anti-Semitic racial hostilities throughout Europe during WWII -- thus predestining Hannah for the life and role of a resistance fighter. The attempt that Hannah made to rescue Jews from the grim jaws of the Holocaust may have ultimately proven unsuccessful, but projected astounding nobility, fortitude, and self-sacrifice, and marked one of the only external rescue efforts of its kind mounted specifically for Hungarian Jews. An emigrant to Palestine, Senesh joined a British resistance force known as the Special Operations Executive, or SOE (which trained her as a parachutist), then helped devise a plot to parachute into Yugoslavia and deliver the Jews prior to the pending German occupation. Tragically, when Senesh and two male colleagues reached Yugoslavia, they learned that the Germans had already arrived in Bucharest, prompting the other two to turn back. Senesh marched on unabated, however, and ultimately fell prey to repeated torture and murder at the hands of the Nazis. As narrated by Oscar nominee Joan Allen, Blessed Is the Match marks the first documentary to relay Senesh's story for the sake of posterity. It blends dramatic reenactments featuring actresses Marcela Nohynkova and Meri Roth with recitations from Senesh's letters to her mother, interviews with the other parachutists and with kibbutz members, and a discussion with historian Sir Martin Gilbert -- which collectively etch out a portrait of an indomitable spirit with unfathomable courage.
anti-Semitism, Hungary, Jewish, Palestine, poet, resistance, resistance-fighters