Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale, the latest from writer-director Nadav Lapid (The Kindergarten Teacher) features a dynamic lead performance from newcomer Tom Mercier, whose feral intensity practically bursts out of the frame (and out of his underwear).
Mercier plays Yoav, a disaffected young Israeli who flees Tel Aviv for Paris to start a new life. Desperate to erase his origins, Yoav sees becoming French as his only hope for salvation. Step one is to replace his language. From now on, he will not utter a single word of Hebrew and his dictionary becomes his constant companion. His work at the Israeli embassy is a burden, but studying for his naturalization test also has its pitfalls. And the young French couple he befriends has some rather strange ideas about how to help him.