58th LFF Final Day Evening

The Kindergarten Teacher [Haganenet] Israel-France DARE Section

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Nadav Lapid has created an extraordinary essay on obsession with this film. Set in Tel Aviv (?), Nira is a kindergarten teacher, in the grip of what can only be described as a mid-life crisis. Her children are grown-up and her husband watches banal TV shows, that is when he is not distracting her with sexual advances of the most blatant kind.

To escape from the ordinariness of her domestic situation she joins an adult poetry workshop. At school she looks after about fifteen small children. One of them, a small boy of about five suddenly demonstrates the ability to make up very sophisticated, wistful poems about love; showing an imagination way beyond his years. His nanny, an aspiring actress doesn’t take his precocity seriously, though she admits to using his poems in her auditions and passing them off as her own.

Somehow, with some outstanding acting on the part of Nira (Sarit Larry) and the nanny (Ester Rada) and Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), this film becomes more and more nightmarish as each character betrays the other in an appalling sequence ending in its dramatic finale. All the time the little boy seems so knowing and yet so innocent, his cherubic face and with a childish lisp, he deals out these devastatingly perceptive poems in a sort of trance, while the obsessed teacher follows him scribbling his aperçus into a notebook, while not being above a degree of plagiarism herself.

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Filed under Film Review, Select Cinema, Uncategorized

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