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Review: The Matchmaker

Cultural limits
By MILES HOWARD  |  June 19, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars



Arik (Tuval Shafir), a restless Israeli teenager, struggles against the cultural limits of Haifa in 1968 — it's a provincial prism untouched by rock music or the sexual revolution. This is a premise that could have been a throwaway Summer of Love export, but director Avi Nesher brings Yankele Bride (Adir Miller), the film's "matchmaker," into the picture. A shambling Holocaust survivor, Bride now ekes out a living pairing lonely souls through a mix of espionage and coaching. Intrigued by the big guy, Arik becomes Bride's detective-cum-wingman, learning lessons in old-school courtship. Naturally, shit hits the fan when the sexually curious Tamara (Neta Porat) moves into Arik's apartment block, but, to his credit, Nesher manages to interweave his divergent threads with ease. The jokes come naturally and frequently, but the film also haunts with unexpected potency, as Yankele's own loneliness as a romantic, and a witness to unimaginable atrocities, comes to light.

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