Kino Lorber is proud to announce the release of SYNONYMS, the striking new film by acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid whose Policeman and The Kindergarten Teacher quickly established him as one of the most original directors working today. Winner of the top prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival along with the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI), and a selection of the upcoming Toronto and New York Film Festivals, SYNONYMS is scheduled to open in New York on Friday, October 25 at Film at Lincoln Center and The Quad Cinema followed by a national roll out.
Entirely set in Paris, SYNONYMS focuses on Yoav (Tom Mercier), a young Israeli man who has moved there with great expectations that France will save him from what he sees as the madness of his country. Desperate to erase his origins, he refuses to speak Hebrew, relying on a French dictionary to communicate with the new people he encounters. Inspired by the real life experiences of writer-director Nadav Lapid, SYNONYMS features a hypnotic performance from newcomer Tom Mercier as the deeply alienated Yoav. In this tragicomic puzzle about cultural identities, Yoav's attempts to find himself awaken past demons while opening up an existential abyss.
After completing his military service, 44-year old Lapid studied philosophy at Tel Aviv University while writing sports columns and short stories. Much like his SYNONYMS protagonist, he soon felt he had to leave Israel determined never to come back. Uprooting himself, he moved to Paris because of his self-professed admiration for Napoleon, and a passion for soccer star Zidane and Godard movies. Lapid ended up returning to Israel to pursue a degree at the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem. He made his much admired debut in 2011 with Policeman (winner of three prizes at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Special Jury Prize in Locarno, and a New York Film Festival selection), followed by The Kindergarten Teacher (Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, New Directors/New Films), released by Kino Lorber in 2015.
SYNONYMS marks the screen debut of 25 year-old actor Tom Mercier who is currently shooting “We Are Who We Are,” the new HBO series directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) opposite Chloe Sevigny.
“Nadav Lapid’s astonishing, maddening, brilliant, hilarious, obstinate, and altogether unmissable new film” - David Ehrlich, Indiewire
"Nadav Lapid’s fiercely compelling SYNONYMS keep the pace with an Israeli in Paris caught somewhere between misfit struggle and revolutionary profundity.” Yonca Talu, Film Comment