The Matchmaker

 

Film Info

Country Israel
Language Hebrew (with English subtitles)
Year of Release 2012
Running Time 112 minutes

Crew

Director Avi Nesher
Producer Moshe Edery
Producer Leon Edery
Producer Avraham Pirchi
Producer David Silber
Producer Chilik Michaeli
Producer Avi Nesher
Producer Tami Leon
Producer Natan Caspi
Co-Producer Shlomo Mograbi
Co-Producer Rami Damri
Co-Producer Eviatar Dotan
Director of Photography Michele Abramowicz A.F.C.
Editor Isaac Sehayek
Original Score Philippe Sarde
Writer Avi Nesher
Produced in Association with Keshet -  Hot - Praxis
Supported by the Yehoshua  Rabinovich Tel-Aviv Foundation for the Arts-Cinema Project

Cast

Yankele Bride Adir Miller
Clara Epstein Maya Dagan
Meir the Librarian Dror Keren
Yozi Burstein Dov Navon
Arik Burstein Tuval Shafir
Tamara Neta Porat
Nili Burstein Yarden Bar-Kochva
Sylvia Bat-El Papura
Moshe Abadi Kobi Farag
Tikva Abadi Yael Leventhal
Beni Abadi Tom Gal
Arik Burstein - Adult Eyal Shechter
Uncle Nadgi Eli Jaspan

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Synopsis

Arik, a teenage boy growing up in Haifa in 1968, gets a job working for Yankele Bride, a matchmaker. Yankele, a mysterious Holocaust survivor, has an office in back of a movie theater that shows only love stories, run by a family of seven Romanian dwarves in the seedy area by the port. Yankele introduces Arik to a new world, built on the ruins of an old one. As Arik begins to learn the mysteries of the human heart through his work with Yankele, he falls in love with Tamara, his friend Beni's cousin. Tamara has just returned from America and is full of talk of women's rights, free love and rock and roll. The disparate parts of Arik's life collide in unexpected, often funny and very moving ways as he lives through a summer that changes him forever. Avi Nesher's latest film mixes comedy with drama as it tells a coming-of-age story unlike any you've ever seen before.

Latest News

A Personal Letter from Avi Nesher, Writer/Director of "The Matchmaker"

Dear Audiences,

I am the writer/director of the film "The Matchmaker", now playing in your local cinema.

I was born in Israel, but spent most of my adolescence in New York where I studied at the Ramaz Yeshiva, so I could keep up my Hebrew. I also studied at Columbia University, and immediately after graduation went back to Israel to serve in the Special Forces of the IDF. I am at home in both America and Israel. Now, I choose to live in Israel, making films in Israel.

Like many Sabras, I had a very difficult time understanding and accepting that the European Jews, like my parents, were ever so hapless during wartime in Europe.

We Israelis were brought up as the "new Jews" and the "super Jews". Empathy toward Holocaust survivors was discouraged. Indeed, we are guilty of a great sin. Our parents suffered greatly "there" and we offered no sympathy "here".

I wrote and directed the film "The Matchmaker" as an homage to my parents. I believe that no matter what the question is, love is always the answer. The film focuses on love to ease survivors' suffering. My parents used much love to create a life for my sister and me, and as sane a life as was possible for them under the circumstances. I find this hugely admirable and a true life lesson.

"The Matchmaker" is my way of sharing my parents' worldview with cinemagoers around the world.

Enjoy the film,
Avi Nesher

Learn more about The Matchmaker, and watch the film's trailer here!

"The Matchmaker" Wins Audience Choice Award at 25th Israel Film Festival NY

May 19, 2011 – The 25th Israel Film Festival closed tonight in NYC with a screening of the Panavision Audience Choice Award winning film – Avi Nesher’s The Matchmaker.

Set in 1968, The Matchmaker follows Arik, an Israeli-born teenage boy who gets a summer job with a mysterious matchmaker named Yankele Bride. Bride takes him on a dangerous coming of age ride into the urban underbelly of Haifa during the time of the Six-Day War.

“This NY edition of the Israel Film Festival has been the most successful in the festival’s 25-year history,” says IFF Founder and Executive Director Meir Fenigstein. “The awareness that US filmgoers have of Israeli films is growing every year. Israeli films have been winning awards and fans around the world lately and audiences want to join in on the excitement."

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Reviews

The Jewish Week NY

"A coming-of-age story that is not only unusual but deeply felt and skillfully made... A thoroughly satisfying rumination on the necessity of love. (Avi Nesher) weaves an entirely believable and yet frequently enchanted milieu... that finds that difficult balance between sentiment and sentimentality."

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Los Angeles Times

Critic's Pick!
"Beautiful, Honest, Insightful... 'The Matchmaker' is a surprise... as satisfyingly eccentric and unexpected as anything we've seen."

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The Boston Herald

"Make a date with ‘The Matchmaker’
A unique coming-of-age story... Terrific. Exotic and yet familiar, Fellini-esque, haunted by the ghosts of the Holocaust and boasting a score by French master Philippe Sarde (“Tess”) and cinematography by Michel Abramowicz (“Taken”), “The Matchmaker” is a fascinating Euro-Israeli rite of passage story. Another noteworthy catch by distributor Menemsha Films. See this.”

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Menemsha Films Store

Poster $9.95
DVD $14.95

Videos

Watch the Trailer

Photos

Additional info

Watch highlights from The Jewish Channel's interview with writer/director Avi Nesher about his smash hit film The Matchmaker. (Segment begins at 6:30.)

Writer/director Avi Nesher spoke to NBC New York about The Matchmaker, and his inspiration for the film growing up in 60's Israel.

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