Once I Was (The Matchmaker)
Once I Was (The Matchmaker) (2012)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 29, 2012
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
John Hartl
Seattle Times

The shadow of the Holocaust hangs over this unique Israeli coming-of-age film, which deals with a special kind of survivor's guilt.

Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

A different kind of coming-of-age story, one infused with the lingering horrors of the Holocaust.

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Michael D. Reid
Victoria Times Colonist (B.C., Canada)

[The Matchmaker] succeeds on two levels -- as a Middle East coming-of-age fable during a period of cultural change, and a rare view of Holocaust survivors in Israel learning to live and love again.

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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle

Nesher ... has a populist touch, showing a sure hand with the numerous subplots and never allowing us to lose sight of his characters' humanity, even the mostly pathetic villain of the piece.

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Tom Long
Detroit News

A movie that's somehow delightful even as it visits devastation.

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Hannah Brown
Jerusalem Post

This immensely pleasurable and moving film manages to weave the many strands of its plot to create a portrait of Israel in 1968 that sheds light on the country today, and does so without sacrificing drama to polemics.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

This is a sweet, bittersweet comedy, well-executed if perhaps a little heavy on anecdotage.

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Joel Arnold

The film intelligently portrays how, even years later, the memories of trauma can be enough to inhibit a person from finding happiness - and consequently, how essential love is.

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Mark Zhuravsky
The Playlist

At heart an unexpectedly complex film about love, but also an examination of Israel in flux, a country with one foot in the past and another in the future - a weight that may never fully vacate Israeli shoulders.

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