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Nadav Lapid
France, Israel, Germany 2019 / 123’
Sons of Denmark The Best of Dorien B.

The winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Festival. Strongly inspired by the experiences of the director himself, Nadav Lapid, this is the story of a young Israeli trying to adapt to life as an immigrant in Paris. Although Yoav quickly befriends a couple of eccentric neighbors and members of the Israeli diaspora, he still feels uncomfortable in his new surroundings. The protagonist’s alienation manifests itself first and foremost in terms of language—something the director takes advantage of by sprinkling numerous puns, experiments and verbal games throughout the story, thus earning Synonyms a comparison with the early works of Godard. The film is also marked by a certain nonchalance, unpredictability and clownish, anarchist humor seemingly borrowed straight from the world of Breathless. The fact that Synonyms is a movie for cinephiles is something the director himself has highlighted. Upon receiving the Golden Bear, Lapid described his film as a humanistic, existential and artistic manifesto that is also a celebration of cinematic art.

Piotr Czerkawski


Berlin IFF 2019 – Best Film, FIPRESCI Prize

Nadav Lapid

Born in 1975, Nadav Lapid is a graduate of the University of Tel Aviv and of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem. After completing his compulsory military service, he left his native Israel for France. His full-length debut, Policeman,won a Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Festival. An American remake of his film The Kindergarten Teacher, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, was released last year.

Selected filmography

2011 Policjant / Policeman / Ha-shoter

2014 Przedszkolanka / The Kindergarten Teacher / Haganenet

2019 Synonimy / Synonymes / Synonyms

Cast & Crew

director Nadav Lapid
screenplay Nadav Lapid, Haim Lapid
cinematography Shai Goldman
editing Neta Braun, François Gédigier, Era Lapid
music Marina Kertesz
cast Tom Mercier, Quentin Dolmaire, Louise Chevillotte, Olivier Loustau
producer Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt
production SBS Films, Pie Films, Arte France Cinéma
Polish distributor Aurora Films
language French, Hebrew
colouration colour