Jules Sitruk, left, and Mehdi Dehbi star in "The Other...

Jules Sitruk, left, and Mehdi Dehbi star in "The Other Son." Credit: Jules Sitruk, left, and Mehdi Dehbi star in "The Other Son."

The Other Son
3 stars
Directed by Lorraine Levy
Starring Emmanuelle Devos, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi
In French, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
Rated PG-13

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so emotionally fraught that you're unlikely to see a movie from the region that doesn't at least obliquely reference it. On-screen and in real life, the situation is commonly portrayed as a hopeless, omnipresent giant looming over everyday life.

"The Other Son," from writer-director Lorraine Levy, opts for a different approach. Choosing optimism instead of despair, it transforms a case of mistaken identity into a story about a better tomorrow.

The film follows two families, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who learn years later that they were subjected to a tragic mix-up: the hospital switched their sons at birth.

Teenagers Joseph (Jules Sitruk) and Yacine (Mehdi Dehbi) are forced to confront the reality that they're not who they've always thought they were, as the movie looks at the nature of what shapes a person.

In the end, "The Other Son" stands out as a plea for tolerance, a film about the shared humanity that can overcome even the most intractable of differences.

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