I’ve been wanting to watch this documentary ever since it came out a few years back but never had the chance. Luckily, I stumbled upon it in the Comcast streaming selections and so jumped at the chance to view it.
I sorta wish I hadn’t. I was very disappointed in this film about one of my all-time favorite poets, Hannah Szenes. She was a Hungarian Jew who went to Palestine at the outbreak of WW2, lived as a kibbutzim – writing poetry all the while – but then parachuted back into Hungary with other operatives to try and set up resistance to the Nazis there. She was captured, tortured, and executed just before Hungary was liberated. She is a hero in Israel where she is buried.
She is more a symbol than anything else. I can’t say her story is more or less heroic than thousands of others from the war but her poetry sets her apart. The title of the film is from one of her most famous poems that is often used as a prayer. Another, Walk In Caesarea (Eli, Eli) is one of the most famous Jewish songs out there. Quite beautiful at that. So while she died young, her writing left a mark on the world.
The problem with the movie is that you don’t learn more about her than if you had pulled up a wikipedia page. Even though there was access to old family interviews, people who knew her, and even a diary or two, the film never digs beneath the milestones. The only tidbit you learn is how Blessed Is The Match almost never came to be. But even that is only about a minute of film time.
I suppose that if you know nothing of Hannah Szenes this might be a primer. If you were – like me – wanting to know more about the person behind the legend then this is a disappointment. 3 of 5 on the rating scale.