Aheds Knee

Ahed's Knee

Directed by Nadav Lapid
Israel | 2021 | Narrative
109 minutes | French, German & Hebrew

In “Ahed’s Knee,” which debuted at Cannes, Nadav Lapid (“Synonyms,” “The Kindergarten Teacher,” “Policeman”) tells the story of an Israeli filmmaker in his mid-40s — not unlike Lapid — who arrives in a remote village at the far end of the desert to present one of his films. He is dismayed when welcomed by a young woman working for the Ministry of Culture who asks him to sign a form limiting the discussion topics he will cover during the post-screening Q&A. The director suddenly finds himself fighting two losing battles: one against the death of freedom in his country, the other against the death of his mother. IndieWire writes: “While all of Lapid’s films clench and spasm with the frustration of an artist whose homeland is too wild and extreme to fit inside the lens of a camera, none of them have confronted that frustration head-on. Not until now. This is what separates ‘Ahed’s Knee’ from anything Israel’s most vital auteur has made before: It’s a film about a filmmaker grappling with the impotency of a lost cause. Lapid’s ultra-personal cinema has never been presumptuous enough to think that it could help save Israel from being swallowed into the Dead Sea. But this, angrier than his earlier work yet strangely also more soft-hearted, is his first movie to resign itself to life aboard a sinking ship.”