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Nadav Lapid

NADAV LAPID

 

Lapid's main body of work has a common denominator: the social portrayal of Israel from a middle-class point of view. This portrait can be made from most unusual places, such as a wedding photographer, an elite policeman and a kindergarten teacher. It is from them that one can better understand a kind of westernization of modern life, with its generational marks. In "Policeman", perhaps Nadav Lapid’s most violent film, the protagonist is surrounded by handsome men and women: the comments about the bodies and their own conduct show this aesthetic tendency of society. It is a life of appearances in which the visible is more important. Ultimately, what is most striking about these films is the profound loneliness of the characters, who seem to have been placed in a pre-written movie of their life. But they simply seem to be trying to fulfil what society demands of them, not fulfilling their personal aspirations. In “From the Diary of a Wedding Photographer” for example, the metaphor is too obvious: none of the couples that take photographs believes in their weddings. Love seems like an outward imposition, which the photographer so well understands (though he himself gets caught up in this kind of swift and consumed passion). Still, the ambivalence of these films always gives way to a tear of hope, even if it arises from something contradictory: the policeman performs his duties, but facing death can lead to change, the educator invented for herself a future, she risked, and shook the “normality” of society. Nadav Lapid's films are profoundly contemporary, living in a liquid society that imposes on us identities that are in constant transformation. So they are films about ourselves, and that puts us in an uncomfortable position. But looking in the mirror is also demanding more from us, and Nadav Lapid knows that.