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Hagshama CINEMAtek: ‘The Other Son’

Hagshama CINEMAtek: ‘The Other Son’

12 June 2013

popcornCinemaTEK continues to be a great success, bringing the latest Israeli film releases alongside the classics, to the young adults of Sydney, with the latest screening, in Bondi, a gathering of 30 young adults from across Sydney on June 4 for “The Other Son”.

“We usually screen Israeli films, but we chose this time to screen French film The Other Son,” said Hagshama Co-ordinator Dana Amir. “The wall that divides Israel from Palestine towers many times over head. Lined with razor wire, fortified with steel and watched over by a ceaseless procession of armed Israeli guards, it stands as a dramatic physical representation of a people divided. In French director Lorraine Lévy’s The Other Son, the stark and haunting image of this wall also embodies the impenetrable barriers of identity that we build around ourselves”.

The movie starts with an impossible twist of fate and ends with a random tragic circumstance, totally divorced from the logical progression of the story’s central conflict. The unfortunate result is that the film’s humanistic message of love and empathy triumphing over hatred and violence fails to resonant on any meaningful level. We are left instead with the truly tragic impression that it would take a coincidence of this magnitude for these two families to ever cross over the boundaries that divide them in hopes of finding common ground.

MinglingAfter the film, the audience stuck around to chat about the film and the modern day state of the kibbutz culture and society.

Prepared questions:

1. In spite of his humble origins, the Palestinian character Yacine is more worldly, confident and ambitious than the Israeli Joseph, who drifts through his life of privilege without much thought for the future. When he learns of his true Jewish identity, Yacine immediately crosses over into Tel Aviv to sell ice cream on the beach, hit on young Israeli women and make a fleeting, yet poignant, connection with his biological mother. Joseph, on the other hand, struggles with the discovery, especially the confirmation by his rabbi that he is no longer Jewish. Why do you think Yacine was more confident than Joseph?

2. Despite their varying reactions, the two sons quickly strike up a bond with each other, finding that, in many ways, they are not so different. They hang out on the beach, go to dance clubs and get stoned together. Joseph wonders to Yacine as he passes him a joint after a night of partying, “I’m my own worst enemy but I must love myself anyway, do you ever think that?” Yacine responds, “Yes. Even as I’m smoking a joint with my own worst enemy. So pass it on.” Do you ever feel this way when meeting Arabs/Muslims in Australia?

Be sure to join us at our next film screening taking place early July.

More photos here