December 19, 2019 - 6:30 pm
Based on the real life experiences of writer-director Nadav Lapid (“The Kindergarten Teacher,” “Policeman”), “Synonyms” is “a searing, maddening, explosively brainy movie” (Los Angeles Times) that explores the challenges of putting down roots in a new place.
In Paris, things do not exactly get off to a good start for the newly arrived Yoav. He knocks on the door of the flat where he’s supposed to stay, only to discover the place is empty. While he is taking a bath there, his belongings are stolen. Yet this young Israeli, who has arrived with such great expectations, will not be dissuaded that easily.
Desperate to erase his origins, 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 his dictionary becomes his constant companion. The necessary visits to the Israeli embassy annoy him, but the naturalization test also has its pitfalls. And the young French couple whom he befriends has some rather strange ideas about how to help him. Throughout “Synonyms,” Yoav’s attempts to find himself awaken past demons and open up an existential abyss in this tragicomic puzzle that wisely knows how to keep its secrets.