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Channah Greenfield

Channah Greenfield: Review of the Film "Matchmaker" at Rady JCC's Tarbut Festival Review

by Channah Greenfield, Grade 12 ,Gray Academy, November 30, 2013

On Monday, November 18th, I attended the Rady JCC's Tarbut Festival to see the showing of the Israeli film "Matchmaker," which I found to be interesting, thoughtful and enjoyable.


The typical Israeli-style movie tells the story of Arik, a young teenage boy growing up in Haifa in 1968. After a practical is joke played by Arik and his friends on a the local matchmaker Yankele Bride, Arik is offered a job by the unknown man who survived the Holocaust in Eastern Europe and we later learn is a childhood friend of Arik’s father.


An air of mystery surrounds Yankele and his world of love and secrecy.


Yankele’s office is in a seedy district of town near the port, in the back of a movie theatre which only shows love stories. Before Arik meets Yankele he is an innocent and naive young boy who knows nothing about love, his job with Yankele shows him everything he needs to know about it. Arik’s work entails his following Yankele’s clients and reporting back whether or not they were good people worthy of an equal match.


This soon leads to trouble for Arik as he learns the complexity of the human heart and the people surrounding it. Arik even watches Yankele himself in love with his unattainable friend. As Arik’s best friend Benny’s cousin Tamara comes for a visit, Arik experiences what love is like for himself.

But as Arik learns throughout the movie, life is much more complicated than it appears, Tamara “gives him mixed signals”, and Yankele is involved in more business than just matchmaking and what will his best friend say when he discovers Arik is in love with his cousin? And as Arik discovers throughout working for Yankele and growing up with his father, what happened in the Holocaust did not simply remain in Europe. As Arik lives through the summer that changes him forever, Yankele Bride takes Arik on the ride of his life in this classic coming of age story.

The film combines humour, darkness and drama seamlessly, while the plot’s continuous twists and turns are unexpected and yet warmly received by the audience; which rings true to Yankele’s saying “You don’t know what you want. Yankele knows what you want.”

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