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Jewish Studies
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Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
A film by Roberta Grossman
2008, 84 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. WW111014
At only 22, Hungarian poet Hannah Senesh made the ultimate sacrifice – having already escaped Nazi-occupied Europe for Palestine and freedom, she returned, parachuting in behind enemy lines in a valiant effort to save Hungary’s Jews from deportation to Auschwitz and certain death. Captured immediately upon crossing the border into Hungary, Hannah was tortured and taken to a prison in Budapest, yet she refused to reveal the coordinates of her fellow resistance fighters - even when they also arrested her mother, Catherine. Hannah became a symbol of courage for her fellow prisoners, encouraging them to remain in good spirits, never losing faith in her Jewish identity, even as she was led out to be executed by firing squad.

Narrated by Academy Award® Nominee Joan Allen, BLESSED IS THE MATCH is a truly moving memorial that brings to life this Holocaust heroine through interviews with Holocaust historians, eyewitness accounts from those on the rescue operation as well as in the prison, rare family photographs and the writings of Hannah and her mother. The film recreates Hannah’s perilous and heartbreaking mission, reconstructs her defiant months in the Gestapo prison and – through Hannah’s diary entries and poetry – looks back on the life of a talented and complex girl who came of age in a world descending into madness.

49 minute version is also available. Please specify a request for the 49 minute version in the “special instructions/comments” field of the online order form when placing your order.


Academy Awards, Short List Best Documentary
Heartland Film Festival, Crystal Heart Award
Palm Springs International Film Festival, Best of Fest
Tucson Jewish Film Festival, Best Documentary
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Audience Award

  • Houston Jewish Film Festival
  • Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival
  • New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
  • Denver Jewish Film Festival
  • San Diego Jewish Film Festival
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival
  • Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival
  • Seattle Jewish Film Festival
  • Garden State Film Festival

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    “A miracle – moving, informative, unforgettable… It's truly a landmark."
    Gloria Steinem

    “Inspirational and moving. This remarkable film will ensure that future generations know the fascinating story of Hannah Senesh and her extraordinary courage and idealism.”
    David Marwell, Director
    NY Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

    “A beautiful and deeply moving story of a remarkable young woman's courage, strength and sacrifice.”
    Jehuda Reinharz, President
    Brandeis University

    “Engrossing. Dramatic. Should have a long life in educational outlets after fest exposure and limited theatrical play.”

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    Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us