The Little Traitor Reviews
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.
They should make it all in English or subtitle the foreign bits.
Despite being set over six decades ago the themes of this movie are still relevant today, and the damage that rumors and misinformation can do to situations which are in actuality perfectly frivolous. Port and Molina are both excellent and the production designers have done a wonderful job of recreating the time period. The running time is nice and compact too. Well worth watching.
Mildly interesting; no need for a big screen. An OK DVD rental.