Identity Crises

The Other Son directed by Lorraine Lévy, 2011 (France) was the centerpiece of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 32. The story begins when Joseph, the son of an Israeli couple, who is about to be inducted into military service, is discovered to have a different blood type than his parents.

I was initially amused at the premise but soon became emotionally drawn into the difficult dilemma each character is forced to confront.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that has generated decades of hate and violence, is explored from a more intimate perspective. The situation is beautifully handled by the director without sentimentality, melodrama, or sensationalism. And careful consideration was taken with the ending.

Of course, in real life it would take much longer for each individual to come to terms with the circumstances, and perhaps not all of them would have been able to overcome rigid cultural conditioning.

The Other Son is a wonderfully hopeful work that deserves wide and enthusiastic support both as cinematic art and as a generous affirmation of human possibility.

copyright © 2012  by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

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