A young Israeli man renounces his identity and flees to Paris in this mesmerizing satirical drama, which took home the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
Soon after arriving in Paris, Israeli Yoav (newcomer Tom Mercier, in an electric performance) is robbed of his only belongings. Naked and nearly frozen to death, he’s found by chic bourgeois couple Emile (Quentin Dolmaire) and Caroline (Louise Chevillotte), who view their strange new friend with a mixture of pity, curiosity, and attraction. Yoav is driven by an all-consuming desire to erase his former identity, refusing to speak a word of Hebrew and communicating in hilariously florid, dictionary-learned French. In scenes that blur the line between mordant comedy and white-knuckle tension, Yoav makes bumbling and somewhat deranged attempts at self-reinvention, often becoming a subject of ridicule and objectification in the process. As he desperately chases a new existence, the life he left behind continues to insidiously seep back in. Loosely based on the experiences of writer-director Navad Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher), Synonyms is a hypnotic, audacious, and completely unpredictable film. An incendiary satire of both Israeli and French cultural mores and a haunting meditation on national identity, Synonyms brilliantly captures the futility of trying to escape the people and places that form us.
CAST: TOM MERCIER, QUENTIN DOLMAIRE, LOUISE CHEVILLOTTE, URIA HAYIK
All sales are final. Admission is not guaranteed after scheduled start time.
CLICK HERE to return to the complete 28th Philadelphia Film Festival schedule.