Do You Believe In Love? (Ha’shadchanit)…a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

October 28, 2014 by Roz Tarszisz
Read on for article

“One must make compromises, life is not a bed of roses” sums up Tova the Matchmaker’s philosophy of relationships.

In this Israeli documentary, we meet Tova Shamsion, a modern matchmaker, who has made over 500 successful matches. Her take on love and relationships is practical and down earth, and she does not sugar-coat the attributes or drawbacks of potential mates.

“I don’t believe there is love in the world. If you believe it – good for you” she says.

Her own reality is she is so affected by long term muscular dystrophy that sometimes cannot move her head off a pillow or feed herself.   However, there is nothing wrong with her brain. Cynical and forthright, she possesses a down to earth attitude to life, her situation and her clients.

Tova specialises in matching people with disabilities and her own disability allows her to speak her mind.

“If I could stand like you, I would not be disabled” she tells one man.

Present at their initial meeting, we see Rosana, a young woman in her wheelchair and Yossi, also wheel chair bound.   His later disappointment when she does not want to take things further is palpable but the viewer appreciates it’s her right to make the choice.

Tova’s relationship with her husband has its ups and downs but they have survived a lifetime of her illness and he is adamant that he does not want to live without her.

When her daughter, in her stead, attends the wedding of one of her successful matches, there are tears in her eyes listening to the chuppah ceremony via mobile phone. She may be a tough cookie on the outside but she is also soft in the centre.

At times poignant and heartbreaking, it is Tova’s commitment to her clients that drive the film.

Director Dan Wasserman

Hebrew with English subtitles 50mins   2013

Screening soon at the Jewish International Film Festival in Melbourne and Sydney. See www.jiff.com.au for dates and details

Trailer…

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