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The Son YTS


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The Son YTS


Two teenage boys and their families, living on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian border, come to know that the boys were accidentally switched after their birth in a hospital. Such a situation set across such an enmity-filled landscape could very well be expected to escalate into chaos and violence, but thankfully, the uneasy situation and the extraordinary story is well handled, and without being melodramatic.Lorraine Levy skilfully and essentially makes it a general human story, getting past its national and traditional boundaries. It tries to question identity in the face of change; genetics vs upbringing, religion, goals, where do we actually belong, and what actually matters The two teenage leading characters in the movie, Joseph and Yacine, deal with the situation and these questions with a certain level of maturity and sensibility, which comes from their background of education and non-inclination towards religious extremism. It also helps that the two sets of parents are intelligent and good-willed people who guide the boys to an informed and sensible transition. And that's where the beauty of the story lies.The acting by the two leads, Jules Sitruk and Mehdi Dehbi, and the remaining cast is commendable, but it's Emmanuelle Devos, as Joseph's mother, who stands out from the rest. The scene in which the details of the birth-switching is disclosed to the two families is quite heart-rending. And the scene in which Joseph, in a moment of inspiration, starts singing an Arabic song in front of his birth-family to distract everyone from the awkward atmosphere, is quite delightful.(A particular song used in the trailer as well as the movie, Yael Naim's 'My Dreams', is quite a beautiful and meaningful one)


While the world continues to struggle to understand the constant schism between Palestine and Israel and yet permutations of that unsettled hot fire whose coals continue to smolder between aggressive flares, along comes a film such as this one - THE OTHER SON or Le fils de l'autre - and provides some insights that at least for the moment offer a better understanding of a very long struggle. Based on an idea by Noam Fitoussi who wrote the screenplay with Director Lorraine Lévy and Nathalie Saugeon, this is a gentle film about resolution of conflict - at least on the family level. It is a French production filmed in the West Bank and Israel under the sensitive direction of Lorraine Lévy.It's not uncommon for those who rightly resent being biologically categorized on government questionnaires, to defiantly write in 'human' when asked to indicate their race. And the same holds true in its own compelling but curious way for the switched at birth DNA-driven identity crisis drama, The Other Son.The relative stability of the two families in question - the Israeli Silbergs (Emmanuelle Devos and Pascal Elbéand) the Palestinian Al Bezaaz (Areen Omari, Khalifa Natourkin, and older son Mahmud Shalaby) in the West Bank - is shaken up when eighteen year old Joseph Silberg (Jules Sitruk) puts his musical aspirations on hold to report for mandatory military duty. But an army blood test confirms that he could not be the child of his parents, an odd stratagem, that a military on such permanent alert would be so thorough, especially since Joseph's father is a high ranking commander. But during a Gulf War missile attack near the Haifa hospital where Joseph was born, a Palestinian mother gave birth at the same time. And in the ensuing confusion, the babies must have been released to the wrong women. Joseph's distraught parents first waver, then seek out the Al Bezaaz family. And Yacine (Medhi Dehbi), their designated 'other son' in question, who has returned home for a visit from his medical school studies in France. While alternately fearful and hopeful mixed emotions become entangled, compounded by a profound cultural divide along with two fathers into deeply disapproving denial. Yet it is the coming together of the th




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