Live and Become (2005) Poster


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, keeping it from the Mengitsu pro-Soviet regime who had prohibited their emigration. The Falashas walked from Ethiopia to Sudan, a Muslim country under Charia law. There, they had to hide their Jewish identity under pain of death In Sudan, planes awaited to take them to Israel. On the road, hundreds died of sickness, famine, exhaustion. Others were killed by bandits. In the 1980s, the Sudanese camps welcomed thousands of Africans from 26 countries who were prey to famine: Christians, Muslims, and clandestine Jews. The first secret airlift operation, known as "Operation Moses", saved 8,000 Ethiopian Jews. 4,000 died on the road between Ethiopia and Sudan, murdered, tortured or suffering from famine, thirst and exhaustion. Many children reached the Holy Land alone or as orphans.

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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 others should love

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