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INDEPENDENT LENS: Blessed Is The Match

Airs Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Hannah Senesh and a soldier, Palestine, 1943. Joan Allen narrates 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.

Narrated by Joan Allen, this 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.

The Making Of

In this interview, director/producer Roberta Grossman talks about first reading Hannah Senesh’s diary in junior high, gaining the trust of Hannah’s nephews, and recreating the last chapter of Hannah’s life.

Safe in Palestine in 1944, Senesh joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. It was the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. Senesh parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis.

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. By Roberta Grossman.

Video

Trailer: Independent Lens: Blessed Is The Match

Above: Get to know this modern-day Joan of Arc. At age 22, Hannah Senesh parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe in an effort to save the Jews of Hungary. As a poet and diarist, she left behind a body of work that has inspired generations. Retrace her perilous mission and get a glimpse into the life of this talented and complex woman.