The Little Traitor (Ha'boged Hakatan) (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Little Traitor (Ha'boged Hakatan) (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

British Palestine, 1947: In just a few short months, Israel will achieve independent statehood. Proffy Liebowitz is a 12-year-old militant who wants nothing more than to see the imperialist forces pack their bags and head for the hills, but when Proffy breaks curfew one night he has an experience that will forever change his outlook on life. Busted while roaming the streets by an amiable British soldier, Proffy is taken aback to find himself entering into a friendly conversation with a man he would have once sworn off as his mortal enemy.

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Alfred Molina
as Sergeant Dunlop
Ido Port
as Proffy Liebowitz
Theodore Bikel
as Security Officer
Jake Barker
as Chaim Zosoma
Levana Finkelstein
as Grandmother Tykocinski
Rami Heuberger
as Proffy's Father
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News & Interviews for The Little Traitor (Ha'boged Hakatan)

Critic Reviews for The Little Traitor (Ha'boged Hakatan)

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

A minor drama about major events.

Full Review… | August 19, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The dialogue and Roth's storytelling manner are heavy handed...

Full Review… | May 14, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A lyrical yet emotionally spare film about the unexpected casualties of war.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A muddled morality tale more interested in coming of age than getting of wisdom.

October 16, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

A pleasing but light nostalgia piece with a frustratingly hasty ending, The Little Traitor doesn't lead to any big twist or revelation. For viewers with a fondness for Israel, though, it amounts to cinematic comfort food.

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

Sentimental and a bit too cute in evoking a child's-eye view.

Full Review… | October 14, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Little Traitor (Ha'boged Hakatan)

"The Little Traitor" is a poignant drama of a an unlikely friendship between an Israeli boy and a British soldier in the middle of one of the momentous decades in history.

Thomas Andrikus
Thomas Andrikus

Heartwarming. excellent, well written movie. The actors were chosen very well for their parts, and they did a really great job. Nice little history lesson in this, too. An ending that made me teary eyed. What more can you ask for?...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

A Palestinian Jew "betrays" his community by forming a friendship with British officer in 1947. The friendship between Sergeant Dunlop and Proffy, played by Alfred Molina and Ido Port respectively, is charming and endearing, and Molina plays the genial father perfectly. As a whole, though, the film has several flaws. Like many Western films about Israel and Palestine, The Little Traitor elides Palestinian Arabs and Muslims from the conversation, condemning them to roles like good-natured merchants with a minute of screen time and a lip-service mention in the film's final moments. It's revisionist history in its worst form, and to suggest that Jews were the only victims of British occupation is myopic and irresponsible. Despite these political concerns, I think director Lynn Roth is less concerned with Zionist politics, which are certainly depicted, and most concerned with a human coming-of-age tale. Even in this, the film fails because of Ido Port's stoic, bland performance. Molina carries their scenes together, but the child actor's reaction shots might as well be an impromptu photograph of Port watching grass grow. Overall, even with Port's poor performance, I found myself thinking that the film - even with its historical amnesia - has its heart in the right place, believing that the way to dispel colonization's violence is through personal friendships rather than political violence; if only Roth had applied the same view to present-day issues in which Proffy and Dunlop's roles are reversed.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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