The Kindergarten Teacher (Haganenet) by Nadav Lapid (Israel/France, 2014, 99 min.). Lauded at the Cannes Film Festival and fresh from Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films, Nadav Lapid’s follow-up to his explosive debut film The Policeman (NCJF Jewishfilm.2012), is a brilliant, inventive drama told in this auteur’s singular voice. Tel Aviv Kindergaten teacher Nira (Sarit Larry) becomes obsessed with one of her charges, Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), a gentle 5-year-old with an otherworldly gift for declaiming perfectly formed verses on love and loss. Yoav’s poetry—Lapid’s own childhood compositions—awaken in Nira a protective, but increasingly extreme, impulse to shield him from a banal, materialistic culture that has little use for poetry and art. Beautiful, elusive, and unsettling, The Kindergarten Teacher will stay with you long after you’ve left the theater. In Hebrew with English subtitles. New England Premiere.
“Often thrilling to behold…confirms Lapid as a talent to be reckoned with,” Hollywood Reporter.
Indiewire’s Critic’s Pick - One of 7 Hidden Gems from New Directors/New Films: “Superb performances firmly anchor The Kindergarten Teacher in reality as Lapid’s premise swells to bizarre proportions. Masterful cinematography adds disquieting tension to the narrative…It’s a stirring investigation into the place of beauty and art in our modern lives and the void that its absence engenders,” Indiewire.