Synonyms (Synonymes)


Rafael 1 Sat, Oct 5, 2019 11:00 AM
Sequoia 1 Sun, Oct 6, 2019 8:30 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:123 min.
Director:Nadav Lapid
Producer:Saïd Ben Saïd
Michel Merkt
Screenwriter:Nadav Lapid
Haim Lapid
Cinematographer:Shai Goldman
Editor:Neta Braun
François Gédigier
Era Lapid
Cast:Tom Mercier
Quentin Dolmaire
Louise Chevillotte
Léa Drucker
Christophe Paou
Print Source:Kino Lober
Note Writer:Peter L. Stein


Undoubtedly one of the year’s most exciting and unpredictable cinematic rides, Nadav Lapid’s brilliant and caustically funny follow-up to The Kindergarten Teacher begins with Yoav (electrifying newcomer Tom Mercier), a handsome Israeli ex-soldier, arriving in Paris intent on shedding his native language, heritage, and self—for reasons that may be either neurotic, erratic, or perhaps post-traumatic. Yoav sheds everything, and fast: the opening scene leaves him utterly naked in an empty apartment, where a pair of haute-bourgeois and sexually ambiguous French newlyweds soon take him in. But the more desperately Yoav tries to assimilate to his new culture—he tests out his mastery of French in torrents of antiquated verbal nuances and phrases—the more it appears that he may not be able to escape the identity he's fleeing. Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and featuring Mercier’s tour-de-force physical performance, Synonyms is boldly iconoclastic: a tragi-comedic social critique that spits in the face of nationalism, whatever tongue it may speak.

Thank you to our Community Partner the Jewish Film Insitute!

CFI French Cinema Sponsor

Additional Information

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1975, this director and screenwriter studied philosophy at Tel Aviv University. After military service, he moved to Paris before returning to Israel to take a degree at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem. His short film Kvish (Road) screened in the 2005 Berlinale Panorama. His debut feature film Policeman won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno in 2011, while The Kindergarten Teacher was featured in the 2014 Semaine de la Critique at Cannes. In 2015, Lama? (Why?) screened in Berlinale Shorts. He is a recipient of the French Order Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.