The Kindergarten Teacher

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    The Kindergarten Teacher

    Haganenet

    Directed by

    Israel, France

    2014

    120 min

    • Hebrew

    Comedy drama

    "Hagar is beautiful enough
    Enough for me Enough for me
    Gold rain falls over her house.
    It is truly the sun of God." In a world that does not appreciate artists, where sensitive souls don’t stand a chance, a poetry-loving kindergarten teacher discovers a child poet and decides to take it upon herself. To nurture him. To save his greatness from the world, to salvage him from the banal, the mediocre and the crude – to save him from life itself. It is the story of a female Don Quixote, who strives to save the world through the poetry of a child, and of a pensive child who has no desire to be saved.

    Awards

    • FIPRESCI Award for Best Israeli Feature Film - Jerusalem FF
    • Best Director (International Competition) - BAFICI
    • Grand Prize (International New Talent Competition) - Taipei Film Festival

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Sarit Larry
    Avi Shnaidman
    Lior Raz
    Hamuchtar
    Ester Rada
    Guy Oren
    Yehezkel Lazarov
    Dan Toren
    Avishag Kahalani
    Screenplay
    Nadav Lapid
    Cinematography
    Shai Goldman
    Editing
    Era Lapid
    Music
    Michael Emet

    Director's Statement

    Between the ages of four and a half and seven years old, I wrote around one hundred poems or, more precisely, I told them to my nanny. The first one, titled “Hagar,” was a love poem, a poem about an impossible love for the older sister of a classmate. “A Separation,” quoted at the end of the film, is one of my last. At the age of seven, I stopped writing poems. It wasn’t until the end of my military service that I began writing again, but never poetry. My parents had put my poems away in a closet and there they remained for twenty-five years, until I decided to use them for a film. THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER consequently has an obviously autobiographical dimension. But I am as much the child as I am the teacher. The anxiety, the urgency felt by the teacher when faced with the marginalization of a certain art, a sensitivity, are feelings I have experienced myself.
    In THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER (...) there is a female protagonist fighting against the zeitgeist. It is a film about resistance, even if the teacher has already fallen victim to ills that she wants to destroy. She is motivated by a sort of “radical purety”. As she faces lies, deceit, the dirtiness of modern times, she aspires to find an absolute truth, but to get there, she has recourse to lies and deceit and the exploitation of someone else to reach her aims."

    Production
    PIE FILMS
    Production
    HAUT ET COURT
    Production
    ARTE FRANCE CINEMA
    Sales
    LE PACTE

    Press

    Always engrossing but also perplexing [...], TEACHER reps a new development in a striking, idiosyncratic director and will see strong fest rotation.

    Jay Weissberg, Variety

    Not many filmmakers could pull off a pitch like the one in THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, yet Nadav Lapid not only makes this rich and rather strange tale convincing on screen, but he does so with the aesthetic prowess of a first-class auteur, combining a realistic, at times documentary approach with cinematic flights-of-fancy that are often thrilling to behold.

    Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

    Lapid walks a tender tightrope that is a subtle, very unusual middle course: moving and disturbing.

    Daniel Kasman, Notebook

    Nadav Lapid

    Nadav Lapid

    Israel

    Whether through literature or cinema, I always try to decipher the Israeli identity.

    Nadav Lapid, born in Tel Aviv, studied Philosophy, Literature and graduated the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School. His graduation film, EMILE'S GIRLFRIEND, was screened in Cannes 2006 Cinefondation Competition, bought by ARTE and commercially distributed in theaters throughout France. ROAD (2005) was screened at the Berlin Film Festival, Locarno and many other international film festivals. POLICEMAN (2011), his first feature, won fifteen awards, among which the Jury Award at the Film Festival Locarno. The successful THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, premiered at the 2014 Cannes' La Semaine de la Critique, where he also presented FROM THE DIARY OF A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER in 2016.

    Selected Filmography