Arguing for Something Bigger: Nadav Lapid Discusses "The Kindergarten Teacher"

  • MUBI
Following his Jury Prize at Locarno 2011 for Policeman, Israeli director Nadav Lapid returns with The Kindergarten Teacher, a quiet story about talent, exploitation, and responsibility. Kindergarten teacher Nira (Sarit Larry) can’t quite rise over her own mediocre abilities as a poet, but when she takes five-year-old Yoav’s (Avi Shnaidman) inspired poetry as her own, her fellow poets react with jealousy and awe. Nira feels as if society at large will not support Yoav’s prodigy, so she takes it upon herself to squeeze more poems out of him—no matter the cost.Lapid and director of photography Shai Goldman shoot the film with equal amounts of distance and intimacy, landing on a distinct look that empathizes with teacher and student, but never spells out what they may be thinking. Nira’s obsessive behavior remains a spiritual pull to the boy’s Dionysian words. Yoav’s interiority may be probed through close-ups,
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