Nadav Lapid • France, Israel, Germany • 2019 • The challenges of putting down roots in a new place
Yoav is a disaffected young Israeli who has fled Tel Aviv to start a new life. Now in Paris, Yoav sees becoming French as his only hope for salvation. Step one is to replace his language. From now on, he will not utter a single word of Hebrew and thus erase his origins. His work at the Israeli embassy is a burden, as is studying for his naturalization test. Thankfully Yoav befriends a young French couple who know how to help him.
Based on the filmmaker’s personal experiences, Synonyms is a brash, energetic parable about the challenges of leaving everything behind to put down roots elsewhere. The fifth film from Nadav Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher) premiered at Stockholm, where it won Best Screenplay; Seville, where it won Best Director; and Berlin, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Bear for Best Film. Synonyms is a New York Times Critic’s Pick.