The Other Son
by George Sax
Infants switched just after birth has been a comedic device since Shakespeare (Comedy of Errors), but Lorraine Levy’s purpose in using it in The Other Son is anything but comic. Its drama and narrative are set in motion by a blood test. Seventeen-year-old Joseph (Jules Sitruk), the son of an Israeli Army colonel, returns from a physical for his required army service with a blood type finding that it is different than his parents.
It soon transpires that Joseph and another child were mistakenly switched at a Haifa hospital during a missile attacking in the 1991 Gulf War. That’s hardly all. His real parents are West Bank Arabs who have unknowingly been raising a Jewish boy, Yassin (Mehdi Dehbi).
Levy’s subdued, gently compassionate movie may seem whimsically premised, but her purpose is appealing, as is The Other Son. She depicts the anguished, halting efforts of the youths and their families in a restrained, but obviously sympathetic and hopeful tone. The movie is underdramatized and too abrupt in its conclusion but the actors give it a realistic gravity. The metaphorical implications are too obvious to identify here.
Watch the trailer for The Other Son
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