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LIVE AND BECOME (Va, Vis et Deviens)

Imagine having to live the life of someone else in order to survive. In fact, your very existence depends on it. LIVE AND BECOME, opening in theatres today follows the story of one such individual.

In 1984, hundreds of thousands of Africans from 26 famine-struck countries find themselves in camps in Sudan. Initiated by Israel and the States, project 'Operation Moses' is undertaken to bring the Ethiopian Jews (Falashas) to Israel. A Christian mother pushes her 9 year-old son to declare himself a Jew, saying "Go, Live and Become and don't come back until you do."

He arrives in the Promise Land, now known as Schlomo (Solomon) and officially an orphan. Adopted by a French Sephardi family in Tel-Aviv, he grows up fearing his secret and lies will be discovered; that he's not Jewish or an orphan, only black.

Schlomo's life long struggle fighting hard to understand why his mother sent him away, not knowing if she is alive hoping that he one day will be able to see her again. Along the way, he discovers love and acceptance from his new family as well as racism and war in the Occupied Territories.

I was pleasently surprised how moved I was when the film ended that I may have even shed a few tears. Fantastic performances all around from Schlomo as a child to teenager to adult is remarkably consistent that the transition from adolescent to adulthood is seamless eventhough they were played by two actors. The story itself was so well scripted and executed by director Radu Mihaileanu that each character surrounding Schlomo has a character arc.

Now, go see, LIVE AND BECOME and don't come back until you do.

Photo courtesy of Seville Pictures


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