A Borrowed Identity

2015

A Borrowed Identity (2015)

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Gifted Eyad (Tawfeek Barhom), a Palestinian Israeli boy, is given the chance to go to a prestigious Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem. As he desperately tries to fit in with his Jewish schoolmates and within Israeli society, Eyad develops a friendship with another outsider, Jonathan (Michael Moshonov, Lebanon) a boy suffering from muscular dystrophy, and gradually becomes part of the home Jonathan shares with his mother, Edna (Yael Abecassis, Kadosh, Alila, To Live and Become). After falling in love with Naomi (Daniel Kitsis), a Jewish girl, he leaves school when their relationship is uncovered, and he discovers that he will have to sacrifice his identity in order to be accepted. Faced with a choice, Eyad will have to make a decision that will change his life forever. (C) Strand

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Critic Reviews for A Borrowed Identity

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (13)

"Identity" demonstrates its boldness not with stylistic originality but with political acuity.

Sep 3, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A fine blend of the universal - teen love, rebellion, tragedy - and riveting specificity, while also working as sharp social critique.

Jul 31, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

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.

Jul 23, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Unusually delicate, sometimes funny, often dramatic, and ultimately profound.

Jul 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

The film feels quietly truthful, as it focuses more on small, pivotal moments than big ones.

Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Riklis is a director of enormous grace and handles the various character dynamics with sensitivity.

Jul 13, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Newsday
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Audience Reviews for A Borrowed Identity

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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