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

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  1 February 2008 (USA)
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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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11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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


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) »




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Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Live and Become  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Narrative Award Winner: 2006 See more »


Narrateur: They had been forgotten on their mountaintops, near Gondar. Yet, since the dawn of time, the Ethiopian Jews, known as the "Falashas", dreamed of returning to their homeland, the Holy Land, Jerusalem. With Israeli and U.S. Aid, a vast program was undertaken from November to January 1985 to transport the Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The Falashas were returned and finally recognized as descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The Israeli secret service carried out the operation on the sly,...
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User Reviews

Simply life-affirming
12 February 2005 | by (Berlin) – See all my reviews

Just returned from the first screening of this movie. An amazing start to the Berlinale Film Festival. It was long (2 and 1/2 hours), absorbing, well-scripted/acted, and very moving. The director and the lead actor were there afterwards and we applauded them heartily. This is what a film festival is about.

The basic plot follows the life of a young Ethiopian boy, Shlomo, whose mother realizes that he can be saved if he poses as one of the Falashas, the Ethiopian Jews. They were clandestinely airlifted to Israel from Sudan in the mid 1980s. This is a story of migration,assimilation and identity through the eyes of an individual. It shows how Israel deals with these 'different' Jews, how he deals with not really being one of them, how he is adopted by an idealistic left-wing family, falls in love with a young Israeli girl whose father is a racist, and his ongoing inner-dialogue with his mother still somewhere in a Sudanese refugee camp. Very multi-layered, critical without being moralistic and preachy. Unlike Mr. Mihaileanu's other big movie "The Train of Life" this is not a comedy, but it contains plenty of warmth and humor, and also stars a Shlomo.

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