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Dancing Arabs (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama | 27 November 2014 (Israel)
1:45 | Trailer

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A Palestinian-Israeli boy named Eyad is sent to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem, where he struggles with issues of language, culture, and identity.



(screenplay), (novel)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Razi Gabareen ...
Young Eyad
Naomi (as Daniel Kitsis)
Kais Natour ...
Rona Lipaz-Michael ...
Headmistress in Jerusalem
Literature Teacher
Keren Tzur ...
History Teacher


A Palestinian-Israeli boy named Eyad is sent to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem, where he struggles with issues of language, culture, and identity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

27 November 2014 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Mis hijos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$23,798 (USA) (17 July 2015)


$281,059 (USA) (11 October 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


At around 1 hr there is a scene in which the main character sits on his dorm room bed and stares forlornly at the wall upon which there is a New York State license plate. The plate's design was initiated in 2010, but the scene in the film takes place in 1990. See more »


Referenced in Matzav Ha'Uma: Episode #8.11 (2015) See more »


Broken Ground
performed by Top Hat Carriers
Lyrics: Ohad Pishof, Ruth Ashuri
Composed by Ram Orion, Tamir Albert, Ohad Pishof, Alon Cohen, Ishai Hada
Courtesy of Paper Publishing & Pookh Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Phenomenology of Identity
30 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Eran Riklis in collaboration with gifted writer Sayed Kashua has brought to the screen a thoughtful and riveting film based on Kashua's 'Dancing Arabs'. Released in North America as 'A Borrowed Identity', it unfortunately is shown only in select art houses, to a limited audience. 'Borrowed Identity' has come on to the American scene at a time of racial and ethnic tension, which in the US context is a reflection of the strain in defining who and what a person is. Kashua's script is informed in the ongoing debate in Israel for its Arab citizens of what its means to be an Israeli, at a time of rabid Jewish nationalism: at a time when the degenerative Zionist elite dreams of expelling 20 percent of Israel's population, i.e., Arabs of the right of citizenship. 'A Borrowed Identity', in a Hegelian trope, in a rude dialectic informs us that the only way Eyad, a gifted Arab Israeli, can find complete fulfillment in Israel is to become a Jew by assuming the identity of Jonathan, his doppelganger, who dies after a long bout of muscular dystrophy, with the complicity of the deceased Israeli's mother. Riklis' film should strike a chord in America in the light of the Rachel Dozeal brouhaha, whereby a white woman passes as black. The connection is problematic? And the climate in the US is hardly welcoming for understanding the plight of Arab citizens of Israel, who, as it turns out, are 'les negres d' Israel'. There is nothing to fault in the probing eye of Riklis' camera. Yael Abecassis is as ever the embodiment of discernment as Jonathan's mother, the young Tawfeek Barhom has a shrewd understanding of the film's protagonist Eyad; he infuses his character with a delicate understanding of the transformation of what Hegel calls the alter ego and then becoming Jonathan. However the love angle is predictable, but creditable, and shows the limits of Israeli liberalism. Above all, the talents of Riklis and Kashua have produced a film worthy of prizes, which the hands of less talented artists would render 'Dancing Arabs' cartoon like if not soppy in sentimentality.

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