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Once I Was (2010)

During the summer of 1968 a teenage boy goes to work for a matchmaker who has survived the Holocaust - both their lives are forever altered.

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(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Clara Epstein
Tuval Shafir ...
Arik Burstein
...
Meir the Librarian
...
Yozi Burstein
...
Nili Burstein
Neta Porat ...
Tamara
Bat-El Papura ...
Sylvia
...
Moshe Abadi (as Kobi Faraj)
...
Tikva Abadi
Tom Gal ...
Benny Abadi
Eyal Shehter ...
Arik Burstein - Adult
...
Adv. Segalson
...
Uncle Nadgi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
The Rabbi's wife
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Storyline

During the summer of 1968 a teenage boy goes to work for a matchmaker who has survived the Holocaust - both their lives are forever altered.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He gets you what you need, not what you want!

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

17 August 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A házasságközvetítõ  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Noir thriller-cum-coming-of-age dramatic comedy that delights
12 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Star Adir Miller plays Holocaust survivor Yankele Bride, a shady matchmaker with some mysterious operations on the side. He takes on a wide-eyed young apprentice, Arik (Tuval Shafir), who just wants an easy summer job. Naturally, the boy gets more than he bargained for in this classic tale of an ordinary man thrust into an extraordinary situation.

Miller, a veteran television actor, writer, and producer, is captivating (and a dead ringer for Vincent D'Onofrio). He dominates the screen, masterfully orchestrating the actors, and action, in every scene he's in. Shafir plays the streetwise assistant with a magnetic vulnerability that charms everyone who crosses his path. He's quite experienced himself as a teen idol in his native country, having grown up on Israeli TV as the star of a long-running hit series.

Writer/director Avi Nesher is a true veteran (this is his 16th feature), and it shows. Production values are high, befitting a director considered an icon of Israeli cinema. Veteran cinematographer Michel Abramowicz effectively captures the dramatic landscape of this Mediterranean port city, filled with bright blue skies, lush vegetation, and sweeping mountain vistas. "The Matchmaker" uses multiple locations, both exterior as well as interior. Arik's youthful world is brightly lit with a vibrant primary color palette -- not the pale, washed out blues and grays typical of modestly budgeted European films. In contrast, the seedy underbelly of the city within which Yankele operates is ominously dark and dusty, filled with shadows and potential dangers lurking around every corner.

Although set in Haifa in 1968, "The Matchmaker" could easily be a classic American noir thriller-cum-coming-of-age dramatic comedy. The evocative soundtrack of original late 60s songs is a plus (Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"). Definitely worth repeat viewings.


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