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The Little Traitor: A boy and a country come of age

A scene from "The Little Traitor"

2 out of 4 stars


A minor drama about major events, the Israeli film The Little Traitor is a personal and national coming-of-age story set in Palestine in 1947, the last year of the British Mandate.

Abrasive 12-year-old Proffy Liebowtz (Ido Port), the child of Polish Holocaust survivors, is a budding resistance fighter obsessed with ousting the British soldiers but, one night when he's out after curfew, he befriends gentle English sergeant (Alfred Molina). The two soon bond over discussions of romance, religion and snooker, but the friendship causes Proffy to be interrogated and ostracized for fraternizing with the occupiers.

With the exception of Molina, the performances, including that of the child star, tend to the one-dimensional. Writer-director Lynn Roth, working from Amos Oz's 1995 novel Panther in the Basement, frequently undercuts the drama's emotional potential by opting for a flat, disconcerting lightness.

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The Little Traitor

  • Written and directed by Lynn Roth
  • Starring Ido Port and Alfred Molina
  • Classification: NA

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About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

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