Dutch filmmakers Stephane Kaas and Rutger Lemm create a delightfully surrealistic documentary about the beloved Israeli writer and humorist. Weaving together animation, live action and interviews, the film takes us deep into the psyche of Keret, a son of Holocaust survivors, whose fiction explores the absurdities of daily life. Keret, whose first name means “challenge” in Hebrew, lives up to his moniker, forcing us to see the complexities and humor in life’s pedestrian and horrifying moments. The film explores tragedies that shaped Keret as a writer, including the suicide of his friend during their Army service. The warm intimacy of Keret’s daily life, his simple apartment, the cafes of Tel Aviv and his loving relationship with his wife and son are effortlessly captured throughout. Particularly enjoyable are short animations of Keret’s most beloved stories. Conversations with his wife, childhood friends and colleagues, including This American Life’s Ira Glass and writer Jonathan Safran Foer, flesh out this quirky portrait of a generous, irreverent and creative thinker. Like his legion of fans you’ll be charmed by Keret and be left with an intense desire to read (or reread) his stories. —Stephanie Rapp
Preceded by I Heart NY
Stephane Kaas (1984) graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy in 2009. Afterward, he made several short films and short documentaries, which were selected for film festivals around the world and won a number of prizes. He also made many videos for popular satirical magazine De Speld, played in a rock and roll band and did a Tedx Talk on the wonders of the world wide web. Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story is Stephane's first feature-length documentary.
Rutger Lemm (1985) co-wrote the screenplay and assisted in the directing of Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story (2017). He's also published a collection of autobiographical essays and used to perform as a stand-up comedian. Currently he's working on a European comedy series and a novel. He really dislikes writing in the third person.