Made in Israel with the dialogue in Hebrew, "Footnote" plays out the ancient theme of passing on the pain.
A Jewish scholar who goes unrecognized passes on the pain to his son who becomes a Jewish scholar who is recognized. That son then passes on the pain to his own son who is stuck. The plot revolves around the Israel Prize. The award committee accidentally calls the father and notifies him that he is the winner. The son sacrifices the prize so that his father will have that honor. The film ends with the award ceremony. We don't know if the father will have a breakthrough in his relationship with his son and decline the award or continue in his autistic ways and accept the award.
The theme takes on the concrete metaphor of "fortress." Israel itself with its tight security is a fortress. All the characters are locked in their own emotional fortresses. We wonder what it would take for them to break out. As the film proceeds they become more and more trapped.
Anyone who has had a parent-child conflict will be drawn back in time watching the film. Once the dynamics are set up, they just seem to go on and on. Often not even the death of the parent ends them.