IMDb > Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008)

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Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh -- In 1944, 22-year-old Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II.
Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh -- The story of Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian poet who was captured by the Nazis, while trying to rescue Jews in WWII.
Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh -- In 1944, 22-year-old Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe with a small group of Jewish volunteers from Palestine. Theirs was the only military rescue mission for Jews that occurred in World War II. Narrated by Academy Award winner Joan Allen, the multi-award-winning BLESSED IS THE MATCH follows the remarkable journey of this young Hungarian poet and diarist, paratrooper and resistance fighter. Told through Hannah's letters, diaries, and poems, her mother's memoirs, and the recollections of those who knew and loved her (including two of her fellow parachutists), the film traces her life from her childhood in Budapest to her time in British-controlled Palestine--where she was drawn by the Kibbutz Movement that sought to build an independent Jewish state--to her daring mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. Both devastating and inspiring, BLESSED IS THE MATCH offers an intimate portrait of a singularly talented, courageous and complex girl who believed that one person could be a flame that burns brightly in even the darkest hours.


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Release Date:
28 January 2009 (USA) See more »
The story of Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian poet who was captured by the Nazis, while trying to rescue Jews in WWII. | Add synopsis »
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 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 17 November 2008, 2:00 PM, PST)

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Holocaust heroine's stirring story See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Peter Hay ... Himself - Senesh Biographer
Judy Baumel-Schwartz ... Herself - Bar-Ilan University
Michael Berenbaum ... Himself - Holocaust Scholar

Shimon Peres ... Himself - President of Israel
Martin Gilbert ... Himself - Historian (as Sir Martin Gilbert)
Márta Ozoray ... Herself - Hannah's Classmate
Magda Csécsy ... Herself - Hannah's Classmate
Dina Schechman ... Herself - Kibbutz Sdot-Yam
Eitan Senesh ... Himself - Hannah's Nephew / Giora Senesh's Son
David Senesh ... Himself - Hannah's Nephew / Giora Senesh's Son
Aharon Megged ... Himself - Author & Kibbitz Sdot-Yam Member
Surika Braverman ... Herself - Parachutist

Laszlo Ritter ... Himself - Institute of History, H.A.S. (as László Ritter)
Reuven Dafni ... Himself - Parachutist, Final Interview, 2005
Judith Charody ... Herself - Catherine's Cellmate
Éva Ritscher ... Herself - Catherine's Cellmate
Susan Beer ... Herself - Gestapo Prisoner

Joan Allen ... Catherine Senesh (voice)

Alona Tal ... Hannah Senesh (voice)
Meri Roth ... Hannah Senesh
Marcela Nohýnková ... Catherine Senesh

Mark Feuerstein ... Antoine Tissandier / Yoel Pagli (voice)

Seth Numrich ... Giora Senesh / Sándor Fleischmann (voice)
Zdenek Kozakovic ... Giora Senesh
Akiva Zasman ... Peter Kallos
Zdenek Astr ... Captain Simon
Gordana Ritter ... Hilda
Jindrich Hinke ... Interrogator Rózsa
Pavla Beretová ... Teenage Girl #1
Andrej Polak ... Antoine Tissandier
Zuzana Stavna ... Teenage Girl #2

Directed by
Roberta Grossman 
Writing credits
Sophie Sartain (written by)

Roberta Grossman 

Produced by
Roberta Grossman .... producer
Lisa Hofheimer .... associate producer
Marta Kauffman .... executive producer
Sophie Sartain .... co-producer
Lisa Thomas .... producer
Pavlina Zipkova .... line producer
Original Music by
Todd Boekelheide 
Cinematography by
Dyanna Taylor (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Blake West 
Casting by
Tracy Lilienfield 
Production Design by
Frank Gampel 
Makeup Department
Kveta Holasova .... makeup department: Czech Republic crew
Jánosné Kajtár .... hair stylist: Hungary crew (as Kajtár Bogyó)
Jánosné Kajtár .... makeup artist: Hungary crew (as Kajtár Bogyó)
Andrea McDonald .... makeup department: Czech Republic crew
Orly Ronen .... hair stylist: Israel crew
Orly Ronen .... makeup artist: Israel crew
Zehava Steinberg .... makeup artist: Israel crew
Rivka Zahavi .... hair stylist: Israel crew
Rivka Zahavi .... makeup artist: Israel crew
Steinberg Zehava .... hair stylist: Israel crew
Production Management
Réka Belsô .... unit production manager: Hungary (as Réka Belsö)
Chris Callister .... post-production supervisor (as Christian Callister)
Smokey Forester .... production manager
Reuma Goma .... production manager: Israel
Jonas Kabrt .... production manager: Czech Republic
Gali Kimhi .... production manager: Israel
Elia Sides .... unit production manager: Israel
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tyler Gooden .... second assistant director: Czech Republic
Dusan Vodák .... first assistant director: Czech Republic
Art Department
István Balogh .... set dresser: Hungary (as Balogh István)
Shai Dagan .... art department: Israel
Zdenek Datel .... stagehand: Czech Republic
Yossi Gedasi .... art department: Israel crew
Amnon Hoffman .... art department: Israel crew
Ales Nenicka .... art department: Czech Republic
Jaroslav Nepomucky .... art department: Czech Republic
Tania Odlo .... art department: Israel crew
Marchelo Portnoy .... art department: Israel
Alex Shapoznick .... art department: Israel crew
Honza Skala .... stagehand: Czech Republic
Michal Soun .... art director: Czech Republic
Sound Department
Rick Aguar .... additional sound
Lora Hirschberg .... sound designer
Lora Hirschberg .... sound mixer
Peter Miller .... sound: New York crew
Mac Ruth .... sound: Hungary crew
Bob Schouk .... additional sound
Amos Zipori .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Chris Callister .... visual effects compositor (as Christopher Callister)
Yale Kozinski .... visual effects compositor
Relja Penezic .... map animations
Relja Penezic .... map designer
Camera and Electrical Department
Rick Aguar .... additional camera assistant
Ofer Almog .... grip: Israel crew
Eric Blum .... gaffer
Attila Dóczi .... best boy: Hungary crew (as Attila Dóczi)
Zahavi Eyal .... gaffer: Israel crew (as Eyal Zahavi)
Ned Hallick .... gaffer: New York crew
Vaclav Hrabanek .... best boy grip: Czech Republic crew
Tom Hurwitz .... director of photography: New York crew
Horvath Janos .... best boy: Hungary crew (as Horváth János)
Paul Marbury .... camera assistant
Miroslav Marek .... best boy: Czech Republic crew
Ori Mil .... lighting assistant: Israel crew
Ladislav Musil .... key grip: Czech Republic crew
Bob Schouk .... additional camera assistant
Moshe Shabbat .... grip: Israel crew (as Moshe Shabat)
Osnat Shani .... still photographer: Israel crew
Jan Skolnik .... electrician: Czech Republic crew
Prokop Soucek .... second assistant camera: Czech Republic crew
Jiri Stilec .... co-gaffer: Czech Republic crew
Attila Szûcs .... grip: Hungary crew (as Szücs Attila)
Casting Department
István Bártfai .... casting: Hungary crew (as Bártfai István)
Gabriela Pejchalova .... casting director: Czech Republic crew
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rona Doron .... costume designer: Israel crew
Edan Galit .... assistant costume designer: Israel crew
Zsoka Hoka .... costumes: Hungary crew (as Hóka Zsóka)
Jana Odstrcilikova .... costume and wardrobe: Czech Republic crew
Lenka Urbanova .... costume designer: Czech Republic crew
Editorial Department
Joachim Blunck .... color correction (as Joaquin Blanco)
Jen Bradwell .... associate editor
Chris Callister .... assistant editor (as Christian Callister)
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam .... consulting editor (as Vivien Hillgrove)
Allan B. Holt .... assistant editor (as Allan Holt)
Jennifer Hall Lee .... digital intermediate editor (as Jennifer Lee)
Music Department
Todd Boekelheide .... orchestrator
David Conte .... orchestrator
Peter Fuchs .... scoring engineer
Alex Lu .... conductor
Alex Lu .... orchestrator
Alex Lu .... score preparation
Kenji Nakai .... music mixer
Michael Skloff .... additional music arranger
Michael Skloff .... additional music producer
Transportation Department
Hassan Azbargea .... transportation: Israel crew
Radek Berka .... production driver: Czech Republic crew
Jirí Janda .... production driver: Czech Republic crew (as Jiri Janda)
Michal Kejr .... production driver: Czech Republic crew
Pini Klavir .... picture cars: Israel crew
Udi Korakin .... transportation: Israel crew
Tonda Korenek .... production driver: Czech Republic crew
Meir Shimon .... transportation: Israel crew
Rubey Star .... transportation: Israel crew
Milan Zika .... production driver: Czech Republic crew
Other crew
Tamar Agnon .... translation: simultaneous, Israel crew
Moshe Alon .... extra
Petr Andrejtschitsch .... extra
Hassan Azbarga .... extra
Ted Baer .... legal
Judy Baumel-Schwartz .... historical consultant
Michael Berenbaum .... historical consultant
Aranka L. Berman .... translator: Hungarian-English
Laura Bialis .... interview: Reuven Dafni
Vigh Bianka .... extra
Pavel Bohac .... extra
Deann Borshay .... associate: Katahdin Foundation (as Deann Borshay Liem)
Inka Brendlová .... extra
Joy Conley .... archival research
Andrea Dlabacova .... extra
Ohad Domb .... extra
Neli Dorot .... extra
Oliver Douitch .... translation: simultaneous, Israel crew
Na'ama Gedasi .... extra
Daven Gee .... director: Outreach
July Gemple .... extra
Dénés Gether .... interpreter: Hungary crew (as Gether Dénes)
Martin Gilbert .... historical consultant (as Sir Martin Gilbert)
Shakir Hafoudh .... production assistant: Czech Republic crew
Eldad Harouvi .... historical consultant
Michal Havelka .... extra
Peter Hay .... historical research
Peter Hay .... translator: Hungarian-English
Joshua Hofheimer .... funding
Lisa Hofheimer .... funding
Petra Hrinova .... set medic: Czech Republic crew
Halil Musa Jahalin .... camels: Israel crew
Jana Juklova .... extra
Pavel Kala .... extra
Rinat Peretz Kalman .... translator: Hebrew-English (as Dr. Rinat Peretz Kalman)
Marta Kauffman .... major funding
Tamar Ketko .... historical research (as Dr. Tamar Ketko)
Alena Kinterova .... extra
Shimon Komerovsky .... extra
Tereza Konradova .... extra
Jan Kopal .... extra
Miroslava Kubrichtova .... extra
Jiri Kucera .... extra
Dusan Kuncik .... extra
Dina Lapolt .... legal: LaPolt Law (as Dina LaPolt)
Richard Lee .... legal
Howard Mandel .... funding (as Dr. Howard Mandel)
Susan Mandel .... funding (as Dr. Susan Mandel)
Ladislav Marata .... extra
Na'am Markovitch .... extra
Benedikt Misovic .... extra
Drahomira Mysikova .... extra
Huttenberg Nassar .... production assistant: New York crew (as Hut Nasar)
Luboslava Nygrynova .... extra
Zsolt Németh .... production assistant: Hungary crew (as Németh Zsolt)
Vladislav Pavlicek .... extra
Ladislav Pejchal .... extra
Lubos Pinc .... extra
Kristyna Pinkasova .... extra
Milena Placha .... extra
Katerina Pospísilová .... extra (as Katerina Pospisilova)
Marta Prochazkova .... extra
Balogh Péter .... location manager: Hungary crew
Laszlo Ritter .... archival research (as László Ritter)
Laszlo Ritter .... historical research (as László Ritter)
Michal Rones .... extra
Tamir Rosenberg .... accounting: Israel crew (as Tamir Rozenberg)
Monica Rosenthal .... major funding
Philip Rosenthal .... major funding
Ric Ruiz .... production coordinator
Laurie Sasaki .... accountant
Jamie Schenk .... archival clearance (as Jamie Schenk DeWitt)
Eitan Senesh .... story consultant
Na'ama Sherman .... caterer: Israel crew
Rami Sherman .... caterer: Israel crew
Ronit Sherman .... caterer: Israel crew
Nir Shohum .... archival research
Mary Jane Shubow .... translator: Hebrew-English
Oren Simhi .... extra
Michael Skloff .... major funding
Vladislav Skocdopol .... extra
Daniel Suhay .... location manager: Czech Republic crew
Anna Szalai .... director of historical research (as Dr. Anna Szalai)
István Sótér .... production assistant: Hungary crew (as Sótér István)
Hana Süssova .... extra
Tamir Tal .... extra
Otta Tesar .... extra (as Ota Tesar)
Raphael Vago .... historical consultant
Adela Vajglova .... extra
Sabina Vavrova .... extra
Beth Voge .... operations manager: Katahdin
Magdalena Vrbasova .... extra
Caz Westover .... archival research
Lori Wyant .... script supervisor: Czech Republic crew
Frantisek Zipek .... extra
Ondrej Zipek .... extra
Jitka Zipkova .... extra
Szabó Zoltán .... extra
Rene Zounar .... extra
Shirley Joseph .... in memory of: 1933-2007
Marta Kauffman .... without whom this film would not have been possible
Monica Rosenthal .... without whom this film would not have been possible
Philip Rosenthal .... without whom this film would not have been possible
Michael Skloff .... without whom this film would not have been possible
Susan Swanson .... without whom this film would not have been possible
Lisa Thomas .... without whom this film would not have been possible

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

86 min
Filming Locations:


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Holocaust heroine's stirring story, 30 June 2011
Author: evening1 from United States

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'd heard the name of Hannah Senesh so many times but only had the vaguest sense of who she was. This movie beautifully encapsulates her tragically short life.

With expert use of photos, old maps, black-and-white grainy dramatizations, interviews with now-aged peers, and context provided by modern experts on the Holocaust, this documentary seamlessly tells the story of a Joan of Arc-like young woman who risked her life to save her people.

The story is told in a painterly and poetic way that seduces and lulls the viewer.

Though told admiringly, the story may leave viewers with conflicting feelings about Hannah. I admire her bravery and devotion. Yet I'm struck by her apparent naiveté. She got caught so early into her mission -- and with such stunningly incriminating evidence. Had the Brits who trained her let her down?

The dramatized scenes involving Hannah and her mother -- whom she had hoped to rescue but wound up causing to be imprisoned -- were especially compelling. How gut-wrenching it was to see a skirted Hannah being led away by her God-playing executioners so shortly before liberation!

Even the epilogue of this movie was intriguing. Read about the fate of Hannah's mother. Had her daughter's courage and determination saved her after all?

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