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Arts & Culture

INDEPENDENT LENS: Blessed Is The Match

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.
Hannah Senesh Legacy Foundation
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.

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

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.

Trailer: Independent Lens: Blessed Is The Match