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Live and Become (2005)
"Va, vis et deviens" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1 February 2008 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 4,604 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 50 critic

In 1980 the black Falashas in Ethiopia are recognised as genuine Jews. In turn they are secretly carried to Israel. The day before the transport the son of a Jewish mother dies. In his ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yael
...
Yoram
Moshe Agazai ...
Schlomo enfant
Moshe Abebe ...
Schlomo adolescent
Sirak M. Sabahat ...
Schlomo adulte
Yitzhak Edgar ...
Le Qès Amara
Roni Hadar ...
Sara
Rami Danon ...
Papy
Mimi Abonesh Kebede ...
Hana - la mère Juive Ethiopienne
Meskie Shibru Sivan ...
La mère de Schlomo
Raymonde Abecassis ...
Suzy
Yosi Alfi ...
Rabbin Talmud Tora (as Yossi Alfi)
Shmil Ben Ari ...
Directeur internat (as Shmil Ben-Ari)
Shlomo Vishinsky ...
Le policier
Shai Fredo ...
Le traducteur
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Storyline

In 1980 the black Falashas in Ethiopia are recognised as genuine Jews. In turn they are secretly carried to Israel. The day before the transport the son of a Jewish mother dies. In his place and with his name (Schlomo) she takes a Christian 9-year-old boy. Upon arrival this second mother dies. Schlomo is adopted by a good family but remains depressed until he secretly sends a letter to his real mother. From the beginning he experiences large and small racist difficulties. In his teens he and Sarah fall in love. Her father is an extreme racist. Schlomo tries to gain "real Jewishness" by winning a competition in Bible interpretation. No change of Sarah's father's attitude. Disappointed he goes to the police and reports himself as not being a Jew. But the police officer just gives him a scolding. "The newspapers are full of that stuff, the Falashas are no Jews. Now they begin to believe it themselves." His adoptive parents send him to France to study medicine. When he afterwards marries ... Written by Max Scharnberg, Stockholm, Sweden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jew | love | israel | letter | christian | See All (105) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Live and Become  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France # 106667 See more »

Quotes

Schlomo adolescent: Should we give back land we consider our own. We were deprived of it in our wanderings and had no other to call our own. And now we finally have it back and we love it...
Papy: This tree provides shade. We planted it 50 years ago. But the tree over there; it was there before we got here. I think we should share the land, like the sun and the shade, so that others can know love too.
Schlomo adolescent: Even if we risk being pushed to the sea and dying?
Papy: Love dosen't come without risks. And it's difficult to decide how ...
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating, Moving Story of a Falasha
1 May 2005 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Twenty-four hours after seeing this extraordinary, multi-layered film about a boy who is airlifted out of Ethiopia and brought to Israel, I am still reviewing images in my mind and wondering at the courage and audacity that must have been necessary to bring this story to the screen.

Salomon was nine years old, living in a desperate refugee camp in Sudan. In late 1984, there was a covert Israeli-American operation to save Ethiopian Jews, known as Falashas, by airlifting them to Israel. The Falashas, are a small branch of the Diaspora. But as they lined up for their exodus, Salomon's mother tells him firmly to "go, live and become", the title of the movie. She saw in the exodus an opportunity for her son to escape the death, disease, famine and civil war that were ravaging Ethiopia. Salomon's mother would stay behind.

The trauma of being told by his mother to leave was already strong stuff. But there is more; Salomon is not even a Falasha. So the arrival in modern Israel is a double shock for him. However, Salomon becomes Schlomo, and we see that he is a quick learner. He learns Hebrew and, when he is adopted by a bi-lingual French-Hebrew family, he learns French, too.

However, Schlomo has a persistent and profound desire to see his mother again. He is wounded. On top of that injury, he has to deal with racism and bigotry in Israel, while hiding the fact that he is not a Falasha. Schlomo carries a lot of emotional baggage, but he has some good people rooting for him. Like the Yarom and Yael, the couple who adopt Schlomo, and Sara, the girl who has him firmly in her sights. The story of Schlomo's trials and tribulations is moving on several levels.

What makes this film audacious is that it confronts the question "who is a Jew". The answer is not self-evident. Indeed, the question has been the subject of impassioned debate in Israel for years. The Falashas are just one case study. It is simply remarkable that someone would make a film that touches on this issue. Bravo!


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