The Kindergarten Teacher (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
December 26, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“The Kindergarten Teacher” is a film that is innocent, unnerving and captivating. Recommended!
TITLE: The Kindergarten Teacher
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 120 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1 Original Aspect Ratio, Hebrew 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Optional English Subtitles
COMPANY: Kino Classics/Kino Lorber
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Directed by Nadav Lapid
Written by Nadav Lapid
Produced by Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, Carole Scotta
Co-Producer: Olivier Pere
Associate Producer: Simon Arnal, Caroline Benjo
Line Producer: Julie Billy
Music by Michael Emet
Cinematography by Shai Goldman
Edited by Era Lapid
Casting by Orit Azoulay
Art Direction by Miguel Markin
Costume Design by Doron Ashkenazi
Sarit Larry as Nira
Avi Shnaidman as Yoav Pollak
Lior Raz as Nira’s Husband
Jill Ben David as The Poetry Teacher
Ester Rada as Miri
Guy Oren as Asi
Yehezkel Lazarov as Amnon Pollak
Dan Toren as Aharon Pollak
Avishag Kahalani as Kindergarten Teacher
Nadav Lapid’s The Kindergarten Teacher is the story of a teacher who becomes at first enchanted, and then ultimately consumed, by the poetic genius of her five-year-old student. Nira (Sarit Larry) discovers that her young student Yoav (Avi Shnaidman) has an otherworldly talent for language and poetry, and becomes interested in cultivating the boy s gift. but when fascination morphs into obsession, Nira pushes the boundaries of her relationship with the boy and his family in an attempt to protect the purity of his talent. Following his critically acclaimed debut Policeman, lapid demonstrates the aesthetic vision of a true auteur, combining a ve rite approach with a thrilling cinematic narrative that has made him, the most internationally acclaimed Israeli filmmaker in recent memory…and perhaps ever (J. Hoberman, tablet).
Nadav Lapid was best known for directing and writing “Policeman”, but now he has returned with an award winning film titled “The Kindergarten Teacher”.
The film stars Sarit Larry (“Domino”, “Zman Avir”), Avi Shnaidman, Lior Raz (“Fauda”, “The World is Funny”), Ester Rada and Yehezkel Lazarov (“Plasticine, “Waltz with Bashir”).
And the film was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber.
The film begins with married couple Nira (portrayed by Sarit Larry) and her husband (portrayed by Lior Raz) as they watch television.
Nira is a kindergarten teacher and also passionate about poetry.
Her life changes when she discovers the talents of a five-year-old boy named Yoav (portrayed by Avi Shnaidman).
When he starts walking back and forth, he tells his nanny Miri (portrayed by Ester Rada) that he has a poem and he begins reciting a poem that he has created himself.
A possible poetic genius, this captivates Nira, because Yoav can be the next Mozart. And it’s important for her, as interest in poetry has declined in her country, she wants to further his talents by cultivating it.
But she is troubled by Miri using Yoav’s poetry as her own during her acting auditions.
As she starts to get closer and learning more about Yoav’s talents, Nira also starts to use Yoav’s poetry with others at her poetry club and people are fascinated by it, not telling them that it’s the poetry of a five-year-old boy.
Nira then begins to push the boundaries between teacher and student.
But how far will Nira go with her obsession?
“The Kindergarten Teacher” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). Shot in HD, the film features wonderful detail, especially during closeups. Skintones look natural and for the most part, the film looks great in HD!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Kindergarten Teacher” is presented in Hebrew 5.1 DTS-HD MA and features crystal clear dialogue and while the film is dialogue driven, there are moments where the film utilizes the surround channels for a thunder/rainstorm to Niri dancing in a dance club or in her kindergarten classroom. And while there are good use of surround for ambiance, the overall lossless soundtrack is very good.
The film is presented with optional English subtitles.
“The Kindergarten Teacher” comes with the following special features:
- Interview with director Nadav Lapid – (18:35) Featuring an interview with director Nadav Lapid.
- “Why?”, a short film by director Nadav Lapid – (5:22) Nadiv Lapid’s Frencg short film.
- Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “The Kindergarten Teacher”.
Once in awhile, you run across a film that looks innocent, but as the film progresses it becomes quite unnerving.
As many cineaste can probably understand the feelings of kindergarten teacher, Nira (portrayed by Sarit Larry), of the waning interest of language and poetry, she sees the gift of her young five-year-old student Yoav, going into some sort of trance and out of his mouth, the most eloquent words that are yet so deep and captivating.
We can understand Nira’s drive to cultivate Yoav’s gifts but the problem is growing obsession to do so.
Yoav is of course a young boy that is oblivious to what Nira is doing. Not having a motherly figure and putting his trust into his teacher, he loves the attention he gets because Nira is so interested in his poetry. Nira gives him so much attention, that he enjoys it.
But for anyone else who sees Nira’s obsession growing out of control, pushing the boundaries between teacher and student, the sympathy we have had for Nira earlier in the film has all but dissipated because her drive has transformed to something so unexpected and unusual.
But Sarit Larry gives a fine performance as the unstable Nira and director Nadav Lapid shows his inner Godard by going further with camera interaction by having his actors bump into the camera, grabbing at it, rather than just talking and looking directly at it.
There is no doubt a poetic and dark feel to “The Kindergarten Teacher”, which was a film that was loosely inspired by Lapid’s younger years but he manages to create a film of unhealthy obsession but yet a yearning of wanting to protect something that is intellectual and yet trying to retain in a world that no longer values language and poetry like yesteryear.
The Blu-ray release looks wonderful and also features a solid lossless soundtrack. But the interview with director Nadav Lapid is insightful and his short film “Why?” is also rather interesting and artsy.
Overall, “The Kindergarten Teacher” is a film that is innocent, unnerving and captivating. Recommended!
J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.
For Product Reviews:
For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.
Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.
J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”