2013 Tolerance Week April 1-5

The dates for Tolerance Week 2013 are April 1-5. We are pleased to announce that this years film is “Blessed is the Match – The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh.” This film will be shown at the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 7:30pm. The showing is free and open to the public.

Narrated by Joan Allen, Blessed Is the Match is the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Safe in Palestine in 1944, Hannah joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. Shockingly, it was the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. Hannah parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis. Incredibly, her mother Catherine witnessed the entire ordeal – first as a prisoner with Hannah and later as her advocate, braving the bombed-out streets of Budapest in a desperate attempt to save her daughter.

With unprecedented access to the Senesh family archive, and through interviews, eyewitness accounts and the prolific writings of Hannah and Catherine Senesh, Blessed Is the Match recreates Hannah’s mission and imprisonment. The film explores Hannah’s childhood against the backdrop of significant historical events resulting in a rich portrait with several interlocking strands.

The film shows British-controlled Palestine and explores how the Kibbutz Movement drew Hannah and other idealistic Jews there in the hopes of building a Jewish state. Israeli President Shimon Peres, who knew Hannah as a young pioneer in the 1940s, appears on camera.

Blessed Is the Match retraces the perilous mission of Hannah and 31 other Jewish-Palestinian parachutists. Two of Hannah’s fellow parachutists, Reuven Dafni and Surika Braverman, along with renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert, appear on camera and recount the mission’s aims, successes and failures.

Finally, through Hannah’s diary entries and poetry – and through her correspondence with her mother – Blessed Is the Match looks back on the life of a uniquely talented and complex girl who came of age in a world descending into madness. ‘God, may there be no end,’ Hannah writes in her 1942 poem Eli Eli, …to sea, to sand, water’s splash, lightning’s flash. The prayer of man.’

WINNER, Audience Award, Best Documentary:

  • New Jersey Jewish Film Festival (2009)
  • Houston Jewish Film Festival (2009)
  • Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival (2009)
  • Denver Jewish Film Festival (2009)
  • San Diego Jewish Film Festival (2009)
  • Tucson Jewish Film Festival (2009)
  • Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (2009)
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival (2008)
  • Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival (2008)

WINNER, Best Documentary, Garden State Film Festival (2009)
WINNER, Crystal Heart Award, Heartland Film Festival (2008)

Area 8th grade students will attend a screening of “Nicky’s Family” on the morning of April 3. www.Nickysfamily.com

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