Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid shows no signs of slowing down in this shattering follow-up to his bat-out-of-hell Synonyms (NYFF57). A film of radical style and splenetic anger, Ahed’s Knee accompanies a celebrated but increasingly dissociated director (Avshalom Pollak) to a small town in the desert region of Arava for a screening of his latest film. Already anguished by the news of his mother’s fatal illness (Lapid’s film was made soon after the death of his own mother, who had worked as his editor for many years), he grows frustrated with a speech-restricting form he is encouraged to sign by a local Ministry of Culture worker (Nur Fibak). The confrontation ultimately sends him into a spiral of rage aimed at what he perceives as the censorship, hypocrisy, and violence of the Israeli government. This boldly shot and conceived work, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, feels as though it has welled up from the depths of its maker’s soul. A Kino Lorber release. A NYFF59 Main Slate selection.
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