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A Borrowed Identity [2014] [NR] - 6.4.2



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

A Palestinian-Israeli teen (Tawfeek Barhom) is accepted at a prestigious school in Jerusalem and must try to figure out how he will be able to fit in. Also with Razi Gabareen, Yal Abecassis, Michael Moshonov, Ali Suliman, Daniel Kitsis, Marlene Bajali and Latitia Edo. Directed by Eran Riklis. In Arabic, Hebrew and German with English subtitles. [1:44]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A teenage girl removes her top and bra (we see her bare breasts and abdomen) as she straddles a bare-chested teen boy lying on the ground; they kiss and the scene ends (sex is implied). A nude teen girl lies in a bed and we see her bare back and her bare breasts: a teen boy is shown bare-chested and he joins her in bed where they kiss (sex is implied).
 A teen boy and a teen girl hug and kiss; the young man tries to kiss her and she kisses him on the cheek.
 A teenage boy carries a young man wearing only underpants (we see his bare legs, back, shoulders, side and abdomen) to a bathroom (he has soiled himself) where he cleans him, off-screen.
 Song lyrics include the words, ..."with erections and semen."

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A boy climbs an antenna on the roof of an apartment building and falls off landing on the hard cement roof and hitting his head (we see blood on his face as he lies unconscious and later with a bloody bandage wrapped around his head).
 We see a funeral where a young man's body is wrapped in a shroud and is placed in a hole in the ground where dirt is shoveled on top of him. A young man is shown with an oxygen mask on in a hospital bed and he appears very ill. A teacher hits a pre-teen boy's hand with a ruler repeatedly when the boy will not respond to a question the way the teacher wants him to. A teacher pinches a boy's ear and walks with him. A man holds a piece of chicken on the end of a knife and tries to serve a pre-teen boy who looks terrified and refuses the food. A young man is shown in a wheelchair suffering from muscular dystrophy and we hear that his father died from MS. A young man suffering from muscular dystrophy is shown in bed unable to move; it is understood that he has soiled himself and a friend lifts him out of bed (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and carries him to a bathroom where he cleans him, off-screen. We understand that a teen boy's grandmother has died and we see the family at a cemetery. A teen boy and a woman drive through a check point and their documents are evaluated by a soldier with a gun. A teen girl breaks up with a teen boy and he drives away crying, and then closes his eyes.
 Rockets screech through the air and we see explosions in the distance as some people cheer and praise the military's actions. A soldier comes to a classroom and makes a presentation about how to properly use a gas mask.
 A man yells at his teenage son. We hear that a man is arrested during a war protest and he is later returned home by the police. A teen girl tells her teenage boyfriend that her parents will not allow her to return to school because of him. A man tells a classroom of students that they will never be anything more than fruit pickers. A pre-teen boy tells his mother, "I brought my Jew," when he comes home from school with a friend. A pre-teen boy tells a friend that his father is a terrorist and the friend watches the man in fear while they eat together later. We hear that the Israeli army invades Lebanon. We hear about war protests. We hear that the Syrian army is ready for war. We read that 20% of Israel's population is Arab. A woman tells her grandson to wrap her in her shroud from Mecca when she dies and shows him where the shroud is. We hear that a man planted a bomb in a bus station. A man makes reference to the first Palestinian to build an atomic bomb. A man says that he was detained for 2 years. People discuss how Arabs are treated and that they are referred to as dirty and animalistic. A sign reads, "Don't you even think about a Jewish Girl." A remark is made about dying as a martyr and coming back as a Jew. A teen girl tells a teen boy that she won't kiss him because, "You just threw up."

PROFANITY 2 - 1 scatological term, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (fruit pickers, morons, jerk, idiot, nerd, crazy Arab), 6 religious exclamations (Thank God, Praise God, For God's Sake, God Forbid). [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Teenage boys and teenage girls are shown in a bar drinking alcohol, and a woman drinks glasses of wine in several scenes. A young man smokes a cigarette, a man smokes in his bathroom, a man smokes a cigarette in his home, several people are shown smoking hookah pipes, a man smokes a cigarette in a car, people smoke cigarettes in a caf, a woman smokes in her home, and a young man smokes a cigarette.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Relationships, love, friendship, PLO, stupidity, Intifada, the Iraq invasion, martyrdom, secrets, assuming a false identity, Arab and Jewish friendship, intercultural relationships.

MESSAGE - We should not be identified solely by our culture or religion.

Special Keywords: S6 - V4 - P2 - MPAANR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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