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The Other Son review

THE Other Son, directed by Lorraine Lévy, centres around the story of two families who live in Israel and Palestine. They have just found out that their sons are not actually their sons, as they were swapped at birth.

One of the sons has been raised as a Palestinian and the other has been raised Israeli-Jewish. Lorraine Lévy uses different film techniques and conventions to portray the idea of religious separation between Islam and Judaism. The idea of religious separation is the main theme in this film, as it portrays how the two religions are so different, even though they have only been separated by a border and a wall. Lévy uses camera techniques, dialogue, costume and the positioning of the characters and props to further portray the idea of religious separation, and these are all viewed in the revelation scene at the hospital.

One of the significant film conventions that is used in the revelation scene is camera techniques. The camera angles are changed often to emphasise certain things and draw the audience’s attention.

One of the most significant camera movements showcases the main idea of religious separation is the close-up shot of the photographs. When both the Silberg and Al Bezaaz families pull out photos of their sons, the camera angle changes to a close-up shot, which puts emphasis on the differences in the two sons' appearances and how the boys do not look like the family that they have been brought up in, but more like the family in the other religion.

A second way that the camera angle in this scene is used to showcase the main idea is the switching between the families and the doctor; when the doctor is talking the camera is focused on the families, so that we can see a full image of their reactions and it portrays how hurt and shocked both families feel. During this scene the camera shot is mainly focusing on the mothers and the fathers, meaning this is still a wide-angle shot, which shows not only the two families and their reactions, but also the surroundings of the doctor’s room.

This shows us the different reactions that we get from the two families and reminds us where they are and that this isn’t someone playing a cruel joke on them.

The idea of nature vs nurture, which is a debate still going on today, is heavily portrayed in this film. Are you who you are because of your genetics and your biological makeup, or are you who you are because of your environment and who you grew up around?

In this film, we see that the sons are actually who they are because of their biological makeup and their genetics, hence they portray the nature side of the debate.