Movie Review: The Kindergarten Teacher has some very strange ideas about the creative process

There’s something fundamentally weird about The Kindergarten Teacher, the sophomore feature by Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid (Policeman). Its narrative (“plot” would be too strong a word) concerns a 5-year-old boy named Yoav (Avi Shnaidman) who composes poetry in his spare time, and the teacher, Nira (Sarit Larry), who recognizes Yoav’s gift—in part because she’s an aspiring poet herself—and seeks to cultivate it. This proves to be difficult, because a lot of modern society perceives poetry as a useless endeavor, at once overly intellectual and insufficiently lucrative. Yoav’s nanny (Ester Rada), who wants to act, uses the boy’s poems as audition pieces, but otherwise seems indifferent, often not bothering to write them down. His restaurateur father (Yehezkel Lazarov), on the other hand, is actively hostile toward any literary ambitions, insisting that no son of his will risk being written off as an egghead freak …

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