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Hill Start (2014)

Zinuk BaAlia (original title)
A Comic drama that tells the story of the Geva family - a bourgeois family from Jerusalem. When the mother of the family, Ora, goes into a coma after a car accident, the family members try to bring her back in every way possible.


Oren Shtern




Credited cast:
Romi Aboulafia ... Liat the driving teacher
Shlomo Bar-Aba ... Micha Geva
Albert Iluz ... Director of the school
Mali Levi ... Shlomit Geva
Yossi Marshek ... Moti Gym teacher
Nadia Meirovich Nadia Meirovich ... Nurse
Yifat Mizrahi ... Naama
Yousef 'Joe' Sweid ... Ahmed
Idit Teperson ... Ora Geva
Itay Tiran ... Ari Geva
Rotem Zissman-Cohen ... Reli (as Rotem Zussman)


A Comic drama that tells the story of the Geva family - a bourgeois family from Jerusalem. When the mother of the family, Ora, goes into a coma after a car accident, the family members try to bring her back in every way possible.

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User Reviews

Sometimes, your father is right
12 July 2016 | by Red-125See all my reviews

The Israeli comedy Zinuk BaAlia was shown in the U.S. with the title Hill Start (2014), It was co-written and directed by Oren Shtern.

This film begins with a serious accident within the first five minutes. Schlomo Bar-Aba portrays Micha Geva, a tough hard-bitten plastic surgeon. (I've known many plastic surgeons, and that's what they're like.) He's driving when the family is involved in a car accident, which leaves Micha's wife in a coma. It doesn't sound very comedic, and it isn't. However, the family pulls together and visits the mother in in the hospital, and this gives director Shtern the opportunity for family interactions at bedside.

Micha has two children. His daughter, Schlomit, played by Mali Levi, is a teacher who spends most of her time dreaming about a singer/actor who stars in Palestinian-oriented (I think) soap operas. At one point, someone tells Schlomit that she is beautiful and sexy, and she seems genuinely surprised. You have to suspend disbelief at this point, because Mali Levi is impossibly beautiful--sort of an Israeli Angelina Jolie. But, that's the plot.

Another plot revolves around Micha's son, Ari, played by Itay Tiran. Ari is also a plastic surgeon, but he's an anomaly. He's diffident, and under his father's thumb. The film is almost a coming of age movie for his character. However, coming of age for him means getting married to Reli, played by Rotem Zissman-Cohen. Reli is startlingly beautiful, but, unlike Schlomit, she's well aware of her beauty. She's also highly sexual, and that is clearly the only aspect about her that would make Ari want to marry her.

Director Shtern does his best to give her some sort of positive personality and intelligence, but he fails. She's wrong, wrong, wrong for Ari. In this case, Micha is correct. It's too bad that Ari's method of moving out from under his father's thumb is to insist on marrying Reli. But, that's the plot.

There's also a sub-plot. From context, Israeli law requires someone involved in a serious accident to take driving lessons and then be tested. Romi Aboulafia plays Liat, the driving teacher. She's also a yoga instructor. (Don't ask.) There's definitely a certain chemistry between Liat and Micha, but that plot gets in the way of the other plots. (I assume the title "Hill Start" refers to one of the requirements of passing the driving test. If this was mentioned in the film, I missed it.)

We saw this film at Rochester's Little Theatre, as part of the excellent Rochester Jewish Film Festival. It will work well on the small screen. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it's not available on DVD. If it becomes available, or if it screens at another festival, it's worth watching. If you want a humorous, lightweight Israeli comedy, that's what you'll get. Why not?

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Hebrew | Arabic

Release Date:

14 August 2014 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Hill Start See more »

Filming Locations:

Jerusalem, Israel


Box Office


ILS4,500,000 (estimated)
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