The Other Son: Four Questions With Producer Raphael Berdugo
As he is preparing to join the Israeli army for his national service, Joseph discovers he is not his parents’ biological son, and that he was inadvertently switched at birth with Yassin, the son of a Palestinian family from the West Bank.
This revelation turns the lives of these two families upside-down, forcing them to reassess their respective identities, their values and their beliefs.
Film Guide’s Frank Ritchie was scheduled to have a chat with French actress Emmanuelle Devos, but due to work commitments was unable to, so instead Frank got to pose four questions to the film’s producer, Raphael Berdugo.
1. How has the film been received by the intended French audience?
It was extremely well received by French audience as we received an Audience Award from the magazine Ecran Total with rates of 95 % of satisfaction and 75% of high satisfaction, based on a poll of about 1000 spectators .
2. Ultimately the film is a question of identity. What do you hope people would walk away with in relation to how we all approach our understanding of ourselves?
This film is indeed showing that our identity is for a good part the result of our environment and education. But we’re also the products of our biological roots. In this film each boy will have to cope with the disconnection between his family biological roots and education. Hopefully this will lead to a reconsideration of the image of the Other in a more objective and positive way.
3. What challenges did you face filming in the land?
We had to compose a mixed artistic and technical team between Israeli, Palestinian and French people. The fact that this was a French production helped a lot. So, the production was finally very harmonious.
4. What do you think the film has to say to not just that conflict but all conflicts around the world whether they be small or large?
The film is a perfect illustration that most conflicts are based on images that each party has of the other. These images are based on education, religion, word of mouth etc. but rarely based on reality .Generally, people in conflict never met before. these negative images are fuelling and justifying hate and violence . So, the first step to resolve conflicts is to change the image of the other which means to meet and communicate with the other.
The Other Son is showing at Bridgeway, Empire Cinema, Gecko Theatre, Lido Cinema Hamilton, Paramount, Rialto Newmarket and Rialto Dunedin from June 13th.