"He's a poet in an era that hates poets."
JJ and Steve finish the first half of 2020 with a film and its remake. This pairing starts with 2014’s The Kindergarten Teacher from Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid. There’s something different about this film. Is it an allegory? Is it a poem?
Their discussion starts with the unique cinematography. From the first scene, this film exhibits exceptional camerawork that engages and draws the viewer into the story. Throughout the story of Nira and young Yoav, we are gifted with beautifully framed sequences that mirror the story’s emphasis on poetry. The Kindergarten Teacher is a visual treat.
But what about the substance of the story? Nira, the titular character, discovers a student’s poetic ability that exceeds her own and puts her on a quest to ensure that his gift is not ignored. The choices she makes lead to a dark and unsettling journey. The film ends with a shot that Steve believes is less ambiguous than it may appear. Is he right, or is he reading too much into it?
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