Hank’s Recommendations 04/09/13

hank_paperTHE OTHER SON — A Jewish family in Jerusalem and a Palestinian one in the West Bank discover their teenage sons have been switched at birth. The revelation leaves torment and shock in its wake, and then a reassessment of values, identity and filial loyalty as all are forced to adapt to the new “family” situation. The switched Jewish son, who was about to be inducted into the Israeli Defense Force until his Arab derivation becomes known, says to his Rabbi, “I’ll have to swap my kipa for a suicide bomb. Am I still Jewish?” Answers the Rabbi: “Great challenges are for great men. God loves men as a father loves his son.”

Indeed planted like a bomb in their midst, the revelation offers a weird and dire situation—the distraught men in the family wanting to forget or ignore; the wives wanting to understand and, tentatively, hopefully, embrace—until you realize, in fact, it can potentially be a totally acceptable and indeed normal situation.

This film is a retelling of the patriarchal story of Isaac and Ishmael—the two sons of Abraham who, because of filial contention, were separated by God to go their own way and found the two separate but semitic Jewish and Arab peoples. As with that tale, it is also a gripping and realistically rendered metaphor for reconciliation: the family’s’ other son is also their very own.

Says one son to the “other”: “You have my life, don’t mess it up.”

Watch the trailer for “The Other Son”: