When Yoav (Tom Mercier, in a riveting performance) arrives in Paris from Israel, his belongings are stolen and he is saved from freezing to death by a wealthy young couple. Scarred by his past and desperate to erase his origins, Yoav sees becoming French as his salvation. The required visits to the Israeli embassy annoy him, but the naturalization test also has its pitfalls.

Yoav’s attempts to find himself awaken past demons as he navigates Paris assisted by his dictionary. Based on the real-life experiences of writer/director Nadav Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher; Policeman), the provocative Synonyms explores the challenges of putting down roots in a new place.

“Astonishing, maddening, brilliant, hilarious, obstinate, and altogether unmissable.” —IndieWire

“Typecasting Israelis and Parisians alike, the film demands multilevel readings, forcing viewers to question the nature of stereotypes and their validity outside parody.” —Variety

“A dynamic dance between madness and charisma ... curiously as bittersweet as it is alarming.” —ION Cinema

• “Nadav Lapid Discusses Golden Bear Winner Synonyms

• “Israel’s Best Director Struggled with Jewish Identity for 20 Years, and It Fueled His Greatest Movie”

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Nadav Lapid
French with English subtitles
Running Time
87 minutes
Digital, Color