7.9/10
5,786
40 user 54 critic

Live and Become (2005)

Va, vis et deviens (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 1 February 2008 (USA)
A Christian boy escapes to Israel from famine-stricken Ethiopia by pretending to be Jewish.

Director:

Radu Mihaileanu

Writers:

Alain-Michel Blanc (collaborator on screenplay), Radu Mihaileanu
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12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yaël Abecassis ... Yael
Roschdy Zem ... Yoram
Moshe Agazai Moshe Agazai ... Schlomo enfant
Moshe Abebe Moshe Abebe ... Schlomo adolescent
Sirak M. Sabahat Sirak M. Sabahat ... Schlomo adulte
Yitzhak Edgar Yitzhak Edgar ... Le Qès Amara
Roni Hadar ... Sara
Rami Danon ... Papy
Mimi Abonesh Kebede Mimi Abonesh Kebede ... Hana - la mère Juive Ethiopienne
Meskie Shibru ... La mère de Schlomo (as Meskie Shibru Sivan)
Raymonde Abecassis ... Suzy
Yosi Alfi 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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 others...
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User Reviews

 
Simply life-affirming
12 February 2005 | by johnnieozSee 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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Details

Country:

France | Israel | Belgium | Italy

Language:

Hebrew | French | Amharic

Release Date:

1 February 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Live and Become See more »

Filming Locations:

Ethiopia See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,691,534
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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