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

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7/10
Holocaust heroine's stirring story
evening130 June 2011
Warning: 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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