"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer of Comedy

It's funny how these things work out.  The summer of 2014 has been one of war, yet there are four new comedies in Israeli movie houses.  In fact, it seems that comedy as a genre is replacing war films, at last!  The comedies include: Zero Motivation (already reviewed on this blog),  Kicking Out Shoshana, The Farewell Party and Hill Start.

Hill Start, first feature film by Oren Stern, is a quirky feel-good comedy on the subject of the family.  In contrast to other films about the family which have been mostly dramas, this one is a comedy about father-son relations, commitment, marriage, communication and compromise.  The family is an upper-middle class family , in which father and son are plastic surgeons who work together yet competitively (reminiscent of Footnote, in which the father and son worked in the same profession but were in competition with each other -- in fact, in both films, the father is played by Shlomo Bar Abba).   Mother and daughter also work together -- they both teach at the same high school -- the mother is the sports teacher and the daughter teaches Arabic.  

The story develops around the love life of the surgeon-son, who is in engaged to marry a girl from a lower socio-economic group (not to mention that she's a manipulative yet loveable Sephardi stereotype), and the teacher-daughter, who is infatuated with Arabic language and culture. 

There is a fair amount of complexity and there is something for everyone -- yoga, driving lessons, the Jerusalem marathon, romance, humor, and just a bit of tits and sex -- after all, this is an Israeli film!
The entire story takes place in Jerusalem, with views that make it truly memorable.   As you watch the film, see if you can pick out familiar streets and sites!

Hill Start was made by United King Films.

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