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View All A Borrowed Identity News
All Critics (30)
| Top Critics (13)
| Fresh (28)
| Rotten (2)
"Identity" demonstrates its boldness not with stylistic originality but with political acuity.
A fine blend of the universal - teen love, rebellion, tragedy - and riveting specificity, while also working as sharp social critique.
Under Riklis's direction, the film's first act lulls the audience into a sense of familiarity, before plunging into a darker reality. The effect is shattering.
Unusually delicate, sometimes funny, often dramatic, and ultimately profound.
The film feels quietly truthful, as it focuses more on small, pivotal moments than big ones.
Riklis is a director of enormous grace and handles the various character dynamics with sensitivity.
The film's conclusion, surprising even if signaled by the title, packs a tragic punch.
On the surface, A Borrowed Identity isn't a political film, but [Eran] Riklis's decision not to take sides is, in and of itself, a political move.
What makes us who we are, and what divides us, is examined in "A Borrowed Identity," a heart-tugging drama about Jewish and Palestinian Israelis and cultures that can both collide and embrace.
Sadly, [the movie] shows that the victims of the conflict are not only those killed in the battlefield, but people whose spirits can be crushed by circumstance.
This intriguing coming-of-ager follows Eyad (Tawfeek Barhom), a gifted, soft-spoken Arab-Israeli kid (Razi Gabareen plays him as a boy) who follows his activist father's dreams and gets into a prestigious Jerusalem boarding school.
[A] steady, sober, unsurprising picture.
A Palestinian boy grows up in Jerusalem, falls for an Israeli Jewish girl, and must borrow the identity of a schoolmate.
What begins as a realistic and compelling retelling of Romeo and Juliet becomes a fascinating criticism of identity, religion, and politics. Eyad's rather blithe transformation from Palestinian anathema to Israeli citizen reveals how socially constructed and fluid such labels are and the failures of the politics that condemn rather than unite. The plot unfolds a bit slowly, and I could have done without the boyhood scenes, but once the film picks up steam, it's deft, critical, and remarkable.
Overall, director Eran Riklis's examination of the culture and make-up of Jerusalem is intelligent and should be required viewing for anyone thinking seriously about Israel and Palestine.
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