Daily News header

Live and Become (Va, Vis et Deviens) Film Review

by Kam Williams

Ethiopian Identity at Issue in Coming-of-Age Flick from Israel

9 year-old Schlomo (Sirak Sabahat) ended up in Israel in 1985 as part of Operation Moses, a humanitarian airlift of about 8,000 Ethiopian Jews fleeing religious persecution in their native country. The only thing wrong with this picture is that the little boy didn't deserve to exercise any right of return like his fellow refugees, given that he was actually a Christian whose starving mother had him take the place of a child who had died.

Nonetheless, upon his arrival in Tel Aviv, he is presumed to be a Jewish orphan by the couple who adopt him, Yoram (Roschdy Zem) and Yael Harrari (Yael Abecassis). While hiding the fact that he is neither Jewish nor orphaned, Schlomo does his best to adapt to the culture and customs of the Holy Land.


However, he soon finds that even if he were Jewish, most white Israelis seem to have a problem with his skin color, and don't real consider him one of the Chosen People. This proves particularly challenging when he hits puberty and takes an interest in girls, especially Sarah (Roni Hadar), whose racist father doesn't want his daughter dating a black kid.

These sort of fish-out-of-water scenarios abound in Live and Become, a coming-of-age, assimilation saga which covers 15 of Schlomo's formative years. Over that timespan, we see the lost lad grow into a man while grappling with assorted identity issues. To its credit, the film fleshes out his character, treating him not as a freak or a curiosity but as an ever-evolving human experiencing a full range of emotions.

Consequently both his enduring, if awkward relationship with Sarah and his barely-tolerated presence in Israel in general combine to create a complicated and compelling character study which ultimately tells us as much about Schlomo's tortured psyche as it does about an abundance of universal themes, from intolerance to abandonment to the need to belong. Brother from another temple.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
In Amharic, Hebrew and French with subtitles.
Running time: 140 minutes
Studio: Menemsha Films

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

A gifted writer, Brooke penned the New York Times best-seller Down Came the Rain and a couple of well-received children's books. She lives in New York City.
Thanksgiving is worth celebrating with the latest movies of the week together with family and friends. Post-thanksgiving weekeends also call for dining out and watching movies as well!
Doctors didn't buy the babysitter's story that it was all the result of an accident. Proof rested in the fact that the creep quickly slipped out of town before subsequently disappearing from the radar entirely.
Directed by Francis Lawrence, the movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, supported by Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch...
Horrible Bosses 2 does have its moments, a captivating car chase during which our heroes drag a chain link fence onto the freeway while on the run from the authorities.
The Thanksgiving celebration will be more lavish and fabulous when family sit together to watch the fresh DVD releases for this week!

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site