Friday, October 26, 2012

Is Israel-Palestine Friendship Possible?


Two Boys Switched at Birth in a Dangerous Land

By Skip Sheffield

It’s bad enough to be switched at birth. Just imagine if you were a Jewish baby boy who was inadvertently switched with a Palestinian baby boy born around the same time?
That in a nutshell is the dilemma of “The Other Son,” opening Friday at Cinemark Palace, Shadowood, FAU’s Living Room Theaters and Regal Delray 18.
The discovery is made when Joseph (Jules Sitruck) is preparing for mandatory duty in the Israeli Army. Joseph lives in a comfortable suburb of Tel Aviv with his mother, French-born Orith (Emmanuelle Devos), a psychiatrist, and father Alon Siberg (Pascal Elbe), an Israeli Army commander. Joseph is a carefree guy who aspires to be a musician but is proud to serve in Israel’s Air Force. However his blood type of A+ means he couldn’t possibly be the son of Orith and Alon. A search of hospital records show there was another boy born Jan. 23, 1991 of Palestinian parents. Yacine (Mehdi Dehbi) has grown up on the West Bank with Arab parents, Said Al Bezaaz (Khalifa Natour) and Leila (Areen Omari). The switch occurred when the babies were evacuated from a clinic during the Gulf War.
Joseph is shocked and chagrined.
“I’m the other one,” he laments. “And the other one is me.”
Writer/director Lorraine Levy has created “The Other Son” as a parable of one of our era’s thorniest problems: the animosity and blind hatred between Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews. Once the two boys get over their disorientation, then they must deal with the reality of their different parents.
One is left with a hopeful thought. If Joseph and Yacine can become friends, can the West Bank Arabs and their Israeli neighbors finally come to a mutually acceptable relationship?

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