Live and Become


Live and Become

Based on the exodus of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, LIVE AND BECOME is a harrowing and poignant look at the struggles of cultural and personal identity. In 1985 Operation Moses is launched to airlift thousands of persecuted Ethiopian Jews (known as Falashas) from Sudan to Israel. When a Falasha widow's son dies, she smuggles a Christian boy with her to ensure his survival. Guilt-ridden at leaving his real mother behind, the boy--renamed Schlomo--is soon orphaned when his Jewish guardian dies. A smart but rebellious student, Schlomo (played at various ages by Moshe Agazai, Mosche Abebe, and Sirak M. Sabahat) finds a stable home with an adoptive French-Israeli couple (Roschdy Zem and Yaël Abecassis). The secular couple encourages his Jewish faith while defending him against the prejudices of their neighbors and the Israeli state. But Schlomo's deception only deepens when he falls for Sarah (Roni Hader), a white Jew, and must contend with her racist father. When he and Sarah marry years later, Schlomo must come clean about his identity if he is to find his place in the world and fulfill his mother's wish: "Go. Live and become." Director Radu Mihaileanu, a Romanian Jew who fled oppression in his own country, brings compassionate focus to an ambitious story of inner turmoil amidst turbulent times. An audience favorite at numerous international film festivals, LIVE AND BECOME is a timely and thought-provoking look at how hope can overcome any prejudice, and the idea that being true to oneself is the surest path home.

“A stirring and uplifting tale of racial and religious assimilation.” (Andrew Sarris, New York Observer)

“Fundamental issues of ethnic and religious identity and the agony of exile are at the heart of LIVE AND BECOME.” (Stephen Holden, New York Times)

“Though most effective in the scenes depicting Shlomo’s displaced childhood, the film builds to an emotional conclusion whose uplift is tempered by subtle ambiguity.” (Maitland McDonagh, Time Out New York)

“Both a love story and inspirational tale of an individual finding peace with himself in a hostile environment.” (Jack Matthews, New York Daily News)
Not Rated
Amharic, Hebrew, French
Radu Mihaileanu
Yael Abecassis, Roschdy Zem, Rami Danon (II), Itzhak Adgar, Mimi Abonesh Kebede

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