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
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...
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.
Even if we risk being pushed to the sea and dying?
Love dosen't come without risks. And it's difficult to decide how others...
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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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