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The Other Son is a poignant film about two boys, Joesph (Jules Sitruk) and Yacine (Medhi Dehbi), 18 years of age, who discover that they had been accidentally switched shortly after birth.
The film exposes the sensitive issues and the consequences for the boys and their families as a result of this switch (“The Other Son” par. 2).
The film centers around this distressing tale of these two young men and their families, one from Isreal and the other from Palestine, bringing into focus the impact of international Israeli-Palestinian conflict in their lives.
Shot in Isreal and the West Bank, the film is a complex story of the effects of the accidental child switch which throws the lives of two families completely out of order.
‘The Other Son’ is a story about two young boys who discover that they are not the real children of their parents (Lubitow par. 1).
Joseph an eighteen year old Arab Muslim musician from Israel, lives in Tel Aviv with his Jewish parents, mother Orith (Emmanuelle Devos) father Avon (Pascal Elbe) commander of the army in Israel.
In a routine blood test for an obligatory service in the Israeli army, Joseph discovers that his blood group does not match with either of his parents (“The Other Son” par. 1).
Further tests by doctors confirm that Joseph is not the biological son of his Jewish parents. Joseph’s parents are shocked by this news.
Upon further investigations, it is found that the hospital where Joseph was born, had been attacked by a missile, leading to chaos and confusion at the time of Joseph’s birth.
The confusion had resulted in a switch between two children Joseph and Yacine, born to Orith a Jewish mother, and Leil a Palestinian mother respectively.
When the biological truth surrounding the mystery of the two switched boys is finally revealed, the parents are informed about the mistake.
Both boys’ parents face the dilemma whether or not to reveal the truth to their children and the best possible manner of dealing with the shocking news (Lubitow par. 3).
This unusual setup of child switches explores the ramifications and turmoil parents face when they find out that their child was actually someone else’s. Despite attempts by the parents to conceal the reality from the boys, the boys eventually are exposed to the brutal truth.
The film reveals some serious emotional issues associated with the incident. Both fathers strongly resist the disclosure of the truth to their boys and prefer to withhold their true identities.
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The fathers are hurt by the incident and wish to bear the pain quietly rather than bearing the likely public shame and embarrassment from the disclosure of the news (Lubitow par. 3). The mothers, on the other hand, face a different dilemma altogether.
They strongly desire to get to know their real children, hold them, hug and kiss them. The boys’ sisters are thrilled and excited to know that they have ‘new’ brothers!
Dynamics within the families change radically as the older brother of Yacine, Bilal refuses to acknowledge Yacine as his brother and turns against him, developing a sudden hatred for him (Lubitow par. 3).
A change in identity initiates a sudden and drastic change in the lives of these two families, who had been leading an otherwise quiet and normal life.
The film is a fine depiction of the personality and identity issues resulting from an accidental switch of infants at birth. Struggling to adapt to this drastic turn of events, both boys, Sitruk and Debhi give some fine performances.
Through the dilemma faced by the boys, the film deals with a myriad of issues such as overcoming prejudices, conflict and hatred for races.
In an attempt to overcome the curiosity of their real families, the boys overcome their prejudices about the Israeli Palestinian conflict and cross borders to better understand their roots (Lubitow par. 4).
In doing so, they undergo several human emotions such as jealousy, hatred and a deep sense of longing to be with their original families. However, they finally overcome their negative feelings and strike a beautiful relationship with one another.
Entrenched in a dramatic family drama, the film deals with some impending global concerns of racial conflict and prejudices surrounding the Israel-Palestine issue.
The topic for my film analysis will be the racial prejudices which arise due to international conflicts.
As soon as the couples find out the truth that their boys are not their real children, there is a change in their attitudes, especially the fathers who feel that exposing the truth about their sons’ real identity would be shameful and insulting.
Yacine’s brother Bilal begins to hate Yacine as soon as he learns that he is born of Jew parents. Both families, which were leading quiet normal lives are suddenly confronted with the issue of racism and prejudices which were otherwise absent in their lives.
Human beings are heavily prone to prejudice and issues such as anger and hatred based on international conflicts such as the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Lubitow, Adam. 2012. Movie Review: “The Other Son” Throwing The Switch. Web.
“The Other Son” n.d. Web.