The Other Son (‘Le Fils de l’Autre’)

DRAMA; 1hr 41min (French, Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, English)

STARRING: Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbé, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi

Identity crisis: from left, Sitruk and Elbé

In a devastating development, two married couples learn that their 17-year-old sons (Sitruk and Dehbi as Joseph and Yacine) were inadvertently switched after their birth in a Haifa hospital. History, religions and cultures divide their parents: Leïla and Saïd (Areen Omari and Khalifa Natour) are West Bank Palestinians, while Orith and Alon (Devos and Elbé) are relatively affluent French Jews who have moved to Tel Aviv. But the shock and anguish of their dismay is universal, and poignantly played. 


Director Lorraine Lévy’s moving, thought-provoking film raises probing questions about nature and nurture. Family is far more than blood ties, but they can cut deep as well. None of this is easy and Lévy treads carefully. When the families meet, there is inevitable awkwardness and tension. Yet as the two boys, their core identities unmoored, grapple with their new reality, a graceful embracing of it begins to take shape. There are no cut-and-paste solutions, and nor can there be. Every landmark is baffling and new, and every character worth caring for.