A young Israeli man absconds to Paris to flee his nationality, aided by his trusty Franco-Israeli dictionary.


Nadav Lapid


Nadav Lapid (screenplay), Haim Lapid (screenplay)
5 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Mercier ... Yoav
Quentin Dolmaire ... Emile
Louise Chevillotte Louise Chevillotte ... Caroline
Uria Hayik Uria Hayik ... Yaron
Olivier Loustau ... Michel
Yehuda Almagor Yehuda Almagor ... Yoav's Father
Gaya Von Schwarze Gaya Von Schwarze ... Tamar
Gal Amitai Gal Amitai ... Eyal
Idan Ashkenazi Idan Ashkenazi ... Roey
Dolev Ohana Dolev Ohana ... Amit
Liron Baranes Liron Baranes ... Officer
Erwan Ribard Erwan Ribard ... Tolga
Yawen Ribard Yawen Ribard ... Tolga's Son
Iman Amara-Korba Iman Amara-Korba ... Yasmina
Sébastien Robinet Sébastien Robinet ... Police Agent


Yoav, a young Israeli man, has a one-way ticket to Paris believing France to be his salvation from what he sees as the madness of his country. Things don't get off to a great start as he discovers his living arrangement is unfit for living, yet his grandiose expectations leave no room for a failure to adapt. Wholehearted in his resolution to erase his Jewish-Israeli origins, he refuses to speak Hebrew and obsessively studies his constant companion, a French dictionary. He develops a particularly strong bond with his privileged neighbor who symbolizes - to Yoav - the French promise of fraternité. Nothing can extinguish Yoav's determination to be thoroughly French. Based on the real-life experiences of writer-director Nadav Lapid, SYNONYMS explores the conflicted realm of fervent Nationalism and the challenges of putting down roots in a foreign land. Written by Mae Moreno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Film debut of Tom Mercier. See more »


A cable man can be spotted on Michel's helmet in the close-up shots of him riding the motorcycle. See more »


Emile: My love, marrying is faster than fucking.
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Referenced in Evening Urgant: Nikolay Rastorguev/Igor Matvienko (2019) See more »


Concerto pour violon en mi mineur, op 64, I. andante
Composed by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (as Felix Mendelssohn)
Performed by Christian Tetzlaff and Sinfonieorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks (as Orchestra Symphonique de la Radio de Francfort)
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User Reviews

12 June 2020 | by sandor-43644See all my reviews

The disproportionate quantity of 1s over 10s received by this title shows that it has achieved its purpose, which is -in my view- to expose ideologies as they are in its strongest sense. Those reviewers who have felt their world questioned have reacted as expected. I do not think that this should be taken personally by anyone, it exposes ethnocentrism an nationalism alike (present in any of us, and more in some societies). The scene of the character trying to provoke and elicit negative sentiments by wearing a kippah or telling clients in a night club "I come from Israel and I am a Jewish", only to elicit a 'so what' response, is something very frequent. I have seen this attitude very often in nationalists of different kind, who think that the rest of the world is thinking 'non stop' about them. There is a coloured beggar in my neighbourhood; I never gave him any money, so that he calls me racist every time he sees me... Regarding nudities, I can just talk about the Italian painter of the Renaissance Danielle da Volterra. He was charged by the Vatican to paint underpants in all figures appearing nude in the pictures and frescoes of Michel Angelo. He was nicknamed 'il braghetone'. Having lived in different countries, maybe I am more sensitive of some issues handled in this picture. You enter (nude) a new world only to be considered a 'lesser person' because you are not 'the same as the others'.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Official Site


France | Israel | Germany


French | Hebrew | English

Release Date:

25 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Synonymes See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,891, 27 October 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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