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

Marion Cotillard, who is no stranger to tackling complex characters and complicated women in movies, most notably as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, plays Sandra in Two Days, One Night. An emotionally vulnerable blue collar worker in a plant determine
Stevie Nicks, older and ever bolder turned heads with Stevie's back-to-the-future, pre-technoid selfies at an opening exhibition in the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Manhattan.
Michael Pena, who first appeared in 'To Sir, with Love' and 'End of Watch' director David Ayer talk to Kam Williams about reuniting to collaborate on Fury.
Rosamund Pike stopped by the NY Film Festival where Gone Girl premiered, to weigh in on assorted relevant topics, with Prairie Miller.
The groundbreaking shorts incorporate drama, nonfiction, animation and comedy, and feature cameos from Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and others.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams Interviews Boris Kodjoe about his new movie, 'Addicted'.

 

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