The Matchmaker (Paam Hayti) 4.0 stars

Matchmaker (Paam Hayti) movie poster

Haifa, 1968. Yaakov Bride (Adir Miller) escaped the Holocaust with a serpentine scar carved across the middle of his face and a desire to become invisible and assimilate. What better way is there to make a living in the era of free love than as a matchmaker trumpeting fidelity? Teenager Arik Burstein (Tuval Shafir) points the wandering marriage broker in the direction of his apartment, convincing Yaakov that his 20-year-old sister is a Thalidomide child seriously in need of his services. So taken is Yaakov by the teen’s barbaric con, he rewards him with the job of “spy guy,” an undercover position that requires him to surreptitiously check on the validity of potential lovebirds. There are hints that Yaakov makes money on the side as a bootlegger, but the real smugglers in this Israeli production are director and co-screenwriter Avi Nesher (The Sisters) and the book’s author, Amir Gutfreund. Together they cook up a matchmaker who is wilder than anyone Thornton ever dreamt of, blending elements of Hollywood’s classical mode of storytelling with a novelistic awareness of pacing and character. 2012.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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