What happens when two expectant couples go into a hospital to have their babies and unknowingly take home the wrong babies? What if one couple was Israeli-Jewish and the other couple was Palestinian-Muslim? What happens when they find out the truth eighteen years later? All of these questions are raised in the optimistic drama “The Other Son” from French writer and director Lorraine Levy.
Lorraine Levy raises the stake with the “switched at birth” concept by exploring the possibility that an Israeli-Jewish baby boy (Yacine) was unknowingly switched with a Palestinian-Muslim baby boy (Joseph) in a Haifa hospital when the hospital was evacuated due to a scud missile attack. Each family raises the other son and then have to confront the truth eighteen years later when Joseph tries to enlist in the Israeli air force. After the error is revealed, both families are faced with emotional turmoil. Joseph and Yacine struggle to find a new sense of identity for themselves. Their families also struggle to accept them as the sons that they raised. While the mothers seem to be more accepting of the situation, it takes some time for the fathers and Yacine’s radical Palestinian-Muslim brother to accept the new found situation.
his delicate situation is tackled by some terrific performances by the cast including Medhi Dehbi as Yacine and Jules Sitruk as Joseph. Cinematographer Emmanuel Soyer uses many close up shots to reinforce the personal and delicate situation that these characters face. While Lorraine Levy’s script touches upon the political issues surrounding this situation, her focus remains on the humanistic issues of two young men trying to find themselves after their worlds turn upside down.“The Other Son” opens in limited release in the United States on Oct. 26, 2012.