Live and Become’s Movie Poster

Jewish Film Festival

Live and Become

A little-known moment in modern history is captured in the latest masterwork from Radu Mihaileanu (Train of Life): the migration of the Ethiopian Jews (or “Falasha”) to Israel in 1984 through a co-operative mission of the US and Israeli governments called Operation Moses. This engrossing epic focuses on an Ethiopian boy in a Sudanese refugee camp who pretends to be a Jewish orphan at the behest of his starving Christian mother. But from the moment Soloman (renamed Schlomo) is rescued and arrives in Israel, he is bound up in the lies upon which his very survival depends and must live terrified that discovery is around every turn. Adopted by a politically minded but non-religious middle-class family in Tel Aviv, young Schlomo (excellently played at different stages in life by three different actors) grows up having to deal with the burden of his deception, the skin color that defines his outsider status, his secret longing for his homeland, and the principles of Judaism he comes to know. Winner of nine international film awards and a multiple nominee at both the French and Israeli Academy Awards, LIVE AND BECOME is an acutely observed and emotionally searing film about culture, identity, belonging, and the immigrant experience.

France/Israel, 2005, In French, Hebrew, and Aramaic with English subtitles140 min, Not Rated, Directed by Radu Mihaileanu


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