The Other Son (2012)
Movie Info"The Other Son" is the moving and provocative tale of two young men -- one Israeli, the other Palestinian -- who discover they were accidentally switched at birth, and the complex repercussions facing them and their respective families. (c) Cohen Media
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Critic Reviews for The Other Son
It is easy to imagine other, darker, results after the opening accident, but Levy's film, pitched firmly as if it were the only possibility, makes it seem so.
A humane but emotionally anemic message movie whose dramatic craft doesn't live up to its good intentions.
Lévy generally succeeds in creating a compelling, humanistic family drama, even if some viewers may reject the movie's final note of optimism.
In the end, it seems, this is not a story about two families, and two lands. It's a story about one family, and one world.
Levy handles with aplomb what could easily have been a messy mix of emotions and politics.
The intention here is plain - we are all human, we can all be family - but Levy weaves the mix of identity crises, cultural mingling and common ground slyly.
The ancient question of nature versus nurture is dramatically explored in "The Other Son," a memorable film about the concept of two infants being accidentally switched at birth.
The Other Son is a hopeful, affective humanistic drama; infused with the incalculable weight of ideology and history.
This moving, emotionally concise human drama is easily one of the most remarkable films about the unending conflict in the Middle East.
Somehow Levy - and her actors - avoid sentimentality and trite homilies. The Other Son explores the age-old nature vs. nurture divide, and ends up as refutation of ignorance and hate.
Some have accused Levy's pic of naïvete, and yet this isn't trying to make bold, heavy political statements, as the director is more interested in the human side of a perhaps unlikely but intriguing plot set-up.
The film goes to great lengths to make us believe its premise, and then use it to make a humane and surprisingly hopeful film about Israeli-Palestinian relations.
The actors are all excellent, the storytelling compassionate, and the overall sense one takes from the film is more humane than political.
At times, certain supporting characters come off as mouthpieces for political points of view, but Levy isn't making a polemic, and her ultimate message is positive and humane.
Though lacking subtlety, the story conveys a rare sensitivity and compassion. But what divides humans historically are more complex issues of power and domination. And shouldn't be buried, even in fiction, under sentimental appeals which change nothing.
The movie doesn't need to preach a "we're all equal" message. When we watch the boys bond with their new kin over food or music, then see the lines of Palestinians plodding through armed checkpoints to reach jobs or visit Israeli friends, we get the point.
The concept feels very designed-to-teach-us-lessons, but the execution is surprisingly graceful.
A provocative, moving social drama, superbly thought out and well acted by its cast.
How the sons begin to share each other's lives is sensitively portrayed, and the film's more original than the usual Romeo and Juliet personalization of the regional divide.
Audience Reviews for The Other Son
An intriguing, well acted story about two boys accidentally switched at birth, and how they and their families discover the truth after one of them applies to be in the military. This is a fascinating coming of age movie concerning identity, religion, politics, and allegiance to one's country, and how to deal with an impossible situation with no simple solution. As said, the acting is really solid, and the handle director Lorraine Levy has on his material is evident. The story hits a few lulls once in a while, but for most of its running time it is arresting, original, and ultimately pretty heart-breaking, even though it ends as positively as it possibly can given the circumstances of the boys and their families.More
Nice movie. Very touching. Good lessons for everyone...rather quickly done ending, though. Hate when they do that.More
Obviously the predicament that one's child is not your own would be traumatic news in and of itself. But placing the babies on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and you have a most interesting twist to further complicate matters. French director Lorraine Levy sidesteps a deep discussion of the heated beliefs that underlie the political situation there. Instead the setting allows her to address various topics from a very intimate, personal perspective. In this way, the script suggests political disagreements between countries are more the result of governments fighting and less a cause célèbre of the actual citizens. This is a story about people. It asserts the idea that one's entire identity can be arbitrarily defined simply by geography. How that personality can change over time is also explored. If there is a failing, it's that the saga never fully resonates with the understanding needed to completely empathize with their plight. Despite the best of intentions, the setup feels slightly contrived. Although I was invested in their lives, I didn't experience the clarifying breakthrough that I felt the narrative required. Yet the performances still ring true. The sincerity of the actors elevate the plot past a mere concept created by a writer into a fascinating picture worth watching.More
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