TJFF: The Hilltops

- Advertisement -


The Hilltops

Directed by Igal Hecht

2011, Canada, 45 mins.

There are few hard and fast rules when it comes to film. Usually when a film feels longer than it is, it’s a bad thing. In the case of The Hilltops, it’s not. The film’s forty-five minute runtime belies the sheer weight of substance crammed into it. Of course, a documentary about Jewish settlers in the West Bank is bound to be fraught with visceral conflict that many find overbearing. What is so impressive about this film is how relentlessly director Igal Hecht pursues his subject. He stays on point, at issue, and the result is a film that punches far above its weight.

The film consists mostly scenes of hilltop settlements at different stages of existence – sparse open tents to more developed concrete cul-de-sacs – and interviews with Israeli professors, politicians, and the settlers themselves. ‘Interview’ is probably too strong a word here, as Hecht is content to let his subjects speak for themselves and we hear very little from the man himself. However, this is not to say that he is shy. He is willing to press and challenge his subjects, but he does so sparingly and only when necessary – say, when he needs a settler to clarify remarks or when someone is using a euphemism. We learn very little about what Hecht thinks of the hilltop settlements because he remains out of focus and instead presents us with the Jewish settlers, in their own words.

I appreciate that Hecht avoids editorializing, especially because so much media respecting Israel is nothing but editorializing – American cable news in particular. The reality is that there are radically different perspectives respecting settlements in the West Bank and Hecht is giving the settlers a chance to make their own case in their own words – but he leaves the conclusions to us.

–       Dave Robson

Toronto Jewish Film Festival is playing from May 7th through May 15th. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone, or in person. More information is available on their website.

In addition to playing at Toronto Jewish Film Festival, The Hilltops will also be playing at Hot Docs.





10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
12 Different Types of Cellos
20 Different Types of Balloons
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
Table with a variety of nuts in bowls
20 Most Popular Types of Nuts (with Nutrition Fact Charts)
Bowl of cooked broccoli with walnuts
20 Types of Broccoli
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Inside a beautiful spa business
6 Capabilities the Best Spa Scheduling and Business Software Should Have
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores
>