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Storyline (warning: spoilers)
A Son compellingly explores the expression “a matter of life and death” via a suspenseful and emotionally draining tale of reverberating collateral damage. A consistently intriguing look at the shifting dynamics of coupledom and the intricacies of supply and demand in a setting where strict religious edicts still hold sway. While vacationing in Southern Tunisia in 2011,a song Aziz loves plays on the sound system of the family’s pricey car, which Fares — the CEO of a multinational firm — lets the boy pretend to drive as their hands share the steering wheel, on the way to a party. Aziz insists on hearing the song again on the way back, from the back seat. Shots ring out from nowhere and men shouting “Allah Akbar!” can be heard. Incredibly, Aziz is hit through the window. The change of mood is wrenching and will never let up.
They burst into a hospital where the staff are kind and dedicated. Aziz requires drastic measures to save his life. With 80% of his liver gone, he needs a transplant. Modern medicine is amazing — it tells you things you need to know and may also tell you things you would rather not know. Blood tests to determine which parent is the best match, return startling results. Meriem’s blood type is likely to cause rejection.
Meriem knows she committed adultery during a long-ago rough patch but she had no idea the child was not her husband’s. How can she confess her unfaithfulness with nerves already frayed by the pressure-cooker of Aziz’s condition? The law forbids organ donations from outside the immediate family. The doctor explains that there is a long waiting list. “Organ donation isn’t in our culture. We are behind in that matter. And religion doesn’t help.” Thus the only solution in this time-sensitive nightmare is for Meriem to come clean with Fares and try to track down the man she hasn’t spoken to in at least ten years because only his liver will be both permitted and a likely match.