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The Kindergarten Teacher (2014)

Haganenet (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 10 September 2014 (France)
Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
A kindergarten teacher discovers in a five year-old child a prodigious gift for poetry. Amazed and inspired by this young boy, she decides to protect his talent in spite of everyone.

Director:

Nadav Lapid

Writer:

Nadav Lapid
7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Sarit Larry ... Nira / Kindergarten teacher
Avi Shnaidman Avi Shnaidman ... Yoav / Kid Poet
Lior Raz ... Nira's husband
Gilles Ben-David Gilles Ben-David ... Poetry Teacher (as Gilad ben David)
Ester Rada ... Miri / Yoav's nanny
Guy Oren Guy Oren ... Asi / Kindergarten student
Yehezkel Lazarov ... Amnon / Yoav's father
Dan Toren ... Aharon / Yoav's uncle
Avishag Kahalani Avishag Kahalani ... Einav / Nira's assistant
Hamuchtar Hamuchtar ... Oded
Yiftach Kaminer ... Spanish poetry enthusiast
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Storyline

The teacher Nira (Sarit Larry) is a woman with a warm professional manner and pleasant, ordinary middle-class life. She has a son in the army, a daughter in high school and a devoted husband (Lior Raz) with a decent government job. As a hobby - or perhaps as a vehicle for unexpressed ambitions and frustrated desires - she attends a poetry workshop with other amateur versifiers. Then one day she witnesses a startling act of creation. One of her pupils, a cherubic, sleepy-eyed boy named Yoav (Avi Shnaidman), is being picked up at the end of the school day. "I have a poem," he announces and recites a brief, elliptical love lyric, pacing back and forth as his nanny writes his words in a notebook. Nira is startled and intrigued, and the evolution of her interest in Yoav drives the film's suspenseful, unnerving, bizarre and strangely believable plot. At first, like any conscientious teacher, she is solicitous and encouraging. It's always good to recognize and celebrate what is special in a ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Israel | France

Language:

Hebrew

Release Date:

10 September 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

L'institutrice See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

The Swan
From 'The Carnival of the Animals'
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
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User Reviews

 
Amadeus in the sandbox? Intriguing Israeli film leaves a few loose ends…
27 December 2015 | by The_late_Buddy_RyanSee all my reviews

Although we felt it didn't quite succeed, even on its own terms IMHO, "The Kindergarten Teacher" is still very watchable. The dour social criticism—poetry no longer has a place in the state of Israel!—didn't really speak to us, though the satirical portraits of the PC haters in Nira's poetry class and the weirdos at the poetry slam were quite amusing, in a depressing way.

The main storyline, Nira's relationship with the chubby-cheeked prodigy, Yoav, gets your attention right away and really builds; our main complaint was that Yoav's character seems inconsistent—he's withdrawn and suspicious at first (and rightly so!), then suddenly turns trusting and confiding, without any real transition. (Maybe he just realizes he's found a new amanuensis to copy down his poems; we, on the other hand, were sorry to see the last of Israeli singing star Ester Rada, who plays Yoav's nanny, Miri.)

Another plausibility problem, at least judging by the subtitles, is that even the best read five-year-old could never have composed the poems he recites ("banality"? really?)… The plot line got a little too cryptic for our taste as well—there's a teasing suggestion that Yoav's poems were actually written by Miri, another that he's channeling in verses recited by his uncle years before—and there are a couple of episodes meant to illustrate the, as it were, banality of Nira's life that seem like filler, but writer/director Nadav Lapid pulls it all together in the almost wordless final scene, set in a glitzy Sinai resort, that really makes it clear what Nira's nutty mission was all about.


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