The JCF’s film for July, The Matchmaker, is a coming-of-age story from Israel with mysterious overtones.
It’s set in 1968, featuring a teenage boy named Arik who takes a summer job with a sad Holocaust survivor who happens to be a shadchan (matchmaker, marriage broker). Arik’s job is to do background checks, and in the process he is drawn into the lives of the people he meets.
The screenplay is based on a novel by Amir Gutfreund; it’s not related to the play of the same title that was the basis for Hello, Dolly.
The film premiered as an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and later that year won the Silver Plaque award at the Chicago International Film Festival. It received seven nominations for Israel’s Ophir Awards in 2010, including Best Picture, where Adir Miller (as Yankel Braiyd, the matchmaker of the title) also won in the Best Actor category and Maya Dagan (as Clara, another survivor, who runs illegal card games) won in the Best Actress category.
It’s in Hebrew with English subtitles. We’ll see it on Tuesday, July 10, at 7:00 p.m. in the Braunstein Community Room at Congregation Kol Ami, 1008 West Water Street. Admission is free but bring cash for popcorn.