The Kindergarten Teacher הגננת
The movie The Kindergarten Teacher, 2014, the work of writer-director Nadav Lapid, is a suspenseful, unnerving, bizarre and strangely believable plot (A. O. Scott, New York Times). Nira (Sarit Larry), the kindergarten teacher, discovers that one of her pupils Yoav (Avi Shnaidman) recites original poetry—startling acts of creation. She herself participates in a poetry workshop and steals Yoav’s poem for her presentations. She is drawn to him, intrudes on his naps to stimulate his creativity and becomes more and more involved in his personal life outside of school. Nadav explores the issues of prodigy, of the creative process and the value of poetry in a materialistic, complacent society. Nira is obsessed with recording his poems and saving him from the harsh reality of Israeli society. She assumes the roles of guardian and protector. A happily married woman, mother of two teenagers, a professional of high standing, descends into the world of obsession and paranoia. Nadav Lipid’s first film, Policeman, was stunning and startling; it criticized Israeli society with two plots which eventually coincided. The Kindergarten Teacher continues this trend, it surprises and mystifies; the viewer needs to work to root out the meaning. In Hebrew with English subtitles, PAL format.
Reviewed by Dolores Luber
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