The Kindergarten Teacher
2014. Israel/France. Directed by Nadav Lapid. Nadav Lapid’s follow-up to his explosive debut, Policeman, is a brilliant, shape-shifting provocation and a coolly ambiguous film of ideas. Nira (Sarit Larry), a fortysomething wife, mother, and teacher in Tel Aviv, becomes obsessed with one of her charges, Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), a five-year-old with a knack for declaiming perfectly formed verses on love and loss that would seem far beyond his scope. The impassive prodigy’s inexplicable bursts of poetry—Lapid’s own childhood compositions—awaken in Nira a protective impulse, but as her actions grow more extreme, the question of what exactly she’s protecting remains very much open. The Kindergarten Teacher shares the despair of its heroine, all too aware that she lives in an age and culture that has little use for poetry. But there is something perversely romantic in the film’s underlying conviction: in an ugly world, beauty still has the power to drive us mad. DCP. In Hebrew; English subtitles. 119 min.
2015. Israel. Directed by Nadav Lapid. A filmmaker is asked by Cahiers du Cinéma to choose the image that made him believe in cinema. DCP. North American premiere In French, Hebrew; English subtitles. 5 min.
For programming and ticketing information, please visit newdirectors.org.