A nifty two-hander that’s generally aware of its limitations, “Me/The Other” strips away the thin veneer of trust between two fishermen — one Italian, the other Tunisian — to reveal the ever-present fear of the other. Worthy debut feature by Tunisian-in-exile Mohsen Melliti occasionally gets the tone wrong, briefly lurching into over-heightened emotions, but in general, does a respectable job of exposing misplaced personal attitudes and the insidiousness of media fear-mongering. Local biz on May release was unsurprisingly weak for such a self-consciously stripped-down work, though latter quality should appeal to fest auds.
Further distancing himself from his heartthrob image, Raoul Bova produced and stars as Giuseppe, a Sicilian fisherman in partnership with Yousef Ben Ali (Giovanni Martorana). Out at sea, they overhear radio reports about a suspected terrorist, also named Yousef Ben Ali, leading Giuseppe to second-guess his old friend. The unsophisticated Giuseppe becomes so convinced of Yousef’s double life that he locks the guy into the hold, but Yousef escapes and a cat-and-mouse game ensues. Thesping is fine, and Melliti is especially good at foregrounding the isolation at sea, where radio reports create a dangerous air of suspicion.