There’s a conceit among movie critics to be, well, critical. And “The Other Son,” a French film by director Lorraine Levy opening in the U.S. October 26, has its flaws. But it needs to be said upfront that, although it does not seem particularly realistic, the movie does a nice job on its own terms.
The story’s premise involves a baby mix-up at a Haifa hospital during the Iraqi missile attacks on Israel during the Gulf War of 1991. When Joseph (played by Jules Sitruk), grows up and is about to be inducted into the military, it’s found that his blood type is incompatible with his parents’. When a follow-up investigation concludes that he was born as the son of West Bank Palestinians, to a mother who happened to be in Haifa at the time, his enlistment is cancelled.
Joseph’s father, Alon (Pascal Elbé), is an army colonel while his mother, Orith (charmingly played by Emmanuelle Devos), is a physician who approves inquiring further into the mystery of Joseph’s biological parentage.