Nadav Lapid, the Tel-Aviv born writer-director of “Policeman” and “The Kindergarten Teacher,” is to make his third feature, “Micro Robert,” in Paris. Lapid is teaming with well-respected French producer Anne-Dominique Toussaint, whose outfit Les Films des Tournelles is behind Louis Garrel’s directorial debut “Two Friends,” which premiered at Cannes’ Critics’ Week.
Israel’s Pie Films will be co-producing. A long-gestated project, “Micro Robert” is inspired by Lapid’s own experience in the French capital over a decade ago. Pic will follow the journey of an Israel man who moves to Paris. A philosophical exploration of self-identity, the movie will ponder on what remains of our core identity and world views when we become expats and switch languages.
Lapid, who sits on Locarno’s international jury, told Variety that “Micro Robert” will ask “whether we can become a new person, transform ourselves by swapping linguistic identities. Can we become French just by living in France?”
While the setting and plot of “Micro Robert” will mark a departure from “Policeman” and “The Kindergarten Teacher,” two pics deeply grounded in Israeli society, “Micro Robert” will share figurative similarities, per Lapid.
“In ‘Policeman,’ there are ghosts of terrorists, in ‘The Kindergarten Teacher,’ there are ghosts of 5-year-olds, and in ‘Micro Robert’ our character will be haunted by ghosts of Paris,’” Lapid noted.
Like “Policeman” and “The Kindergarten Teacher,” “Micro Robert” will also highlight its character’s ambivalence and internal conflict.
Toussaint, who has track record in working with up-and-comers, notably Nadine Labaki (“Caramel”), Riad Sattouf (“The French Kissers”) and Rachid Djaidani (“Rengaine”), said she approached Lapid after seeing his two movies.
Lapid’s sophomore film, “The Kindergarten Teacher,” which opened at Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2014, was just released in the States by Kino Lorber and has earned upbeat reviews. His debut, “Policeman,” won Locarno’s jury prize. Lapid, who is now being circled by various U.S. agents, said he was still committed to making Israeli films in spite of current pressures stemming from the country’s right-wing government.