Va, Vis et Deviens (Live and Become) (Go, See, and Become) (2005)

Va, Vis et Deviens (Live and Become) (Go, See, and Become) (2005)



Critic Consensus: Mihaileanu's story of an Ethiopian orphan's struggles overcomes an inflated length and script problems to explore universal issues of racial and religious identity.

Va, Vis et Deviens (Live and Become) (Go, See, and Become) Photos

Movie Info

Cultural confusion and the lack of true identity plague a young boy swept away from his mother during a joint American-Israeli rescue mission in director Radu Mihaileanu's fact-based drama. As thousands of displaced Africans crowd into Sudanese refugee camps, American and Israeli troops organize "Operation Moses," a mission aimed at relocating the wandering Falashas to Israel. Forced by his Christian mother to declare himself Jewish in hopes of joining the exile and escaping a grim fate, young Solomon (Moshe Agazai) is swept away to Israel and adopted by a Tel Aviv-dwelling French Sephardic family and re-named Schlomo. Terrified of being revealed and shaken to the core by the radically different culture of Israel, Schlomo does his best to adapt to his new surroundings as his presumed salvation slowly gives way to the inner decay of a fading identity.
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Roschdy Zem
as Yoram
Moshe Agazai
as Schlomo enfant
Moshe Abebe
as Schlomo adolescent
Sirak M. Sabahat
as Schlomo adulte
Roni Hadar
as Sara
Rami Danon
as Papy
Yitzhak Edgar
as Le Qès Amara
Meskie Shibru Sivan
as La mère de Schlomo
Shmil Ben-Ari
as Directeur internat
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Va, Vis et Deviens (Live and Become) (Go, See, and Become)

Critic Reviews for Va, Vis et Deviens (Live and Become) (Go, See, and Become)

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (14)

The bounty of incident is balanced by knowing humor, compelling characters and a dedicated compassion toward those for whom the search for home sends their head, heart and feet flying in all directions.

Full Review… | June 27, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Don't be put off by the film's length. It's fascinating to see familiar history flash by as a backdrop to the equally compelling account of a life spent in pursuit of totality.

March 28, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

With the secret 1985 airlift of thousands of Ethiopian Jewish refugees into Israel as a historical starting point, writer-director Radu Mihaileanu turns one fictional boy's story into a loaded, didactic drama about survival, adaptation, and identity.

Full Review… | March 12, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A stirring and uplifting tale of racial and religious assimilation.

February 13, 2008
New York Observer
Top Critic

Fundamental issues of ethnic and religious identity and the agony of exile are at the heart of Live and Become.

February 4, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Both a love story and inspirational tale of an individual finding peace with himself in a hostile environment.

Full Review… | February 1, 2008
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Va, Vis et Deviens (Live and Become) (Go, See, and Become)

It's not spectacular but has its moments. The characters are notably true to life. Although understated, what the film does manage to say is that religious and racial identities are never cleanly compartmentalized, and that while we can fight for those areas where we have crossover in hopes to feel a sense of belonging, we all share, always, that we are human and have the capacity to love.

Jonathan Kroening
Jonathan Kroening

This movie is about a period in history of which I was unaware. Ethiopians claiming to be Jews were taken in by Israel, but not with the approval of all the Israelis, leading to bitterness, dissension, and overt hostility. This is a very moving story about one young man's journey to "Live and Become" -- an Ethiopian Christian forced by his mother to take the identity of a Jewish boy who died, so he can be rescued from their refugee camp in the Sudan, and be resettled in Israel. A rather long movie, but very well done. The final scene is one that I will probably remember forever. Kudos!

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

"Live and Become" starts in the 1980's as Ethiopian Jews are allowed to immigrate to Israel but first must complete a hazardous trek to Sudan, and many die along the way. Hana(Mimi Abonesh Kebede) survives to make it to a refugee camp, host to a mixture of religions, but her son does not. Wanting her son to live and thrive elsewhere, a Christian mother(Meskie Shibru Sivan) passes her son off as Jewish, giving him to Hana to take with her to Israel, where he is now known as Schlomo(Moshe Agazai). He is again abandoned in Israel when Hana succumbs to sickness. So, he acts out in school, even making a futile attempt to walk back to his home country and mother. In order to provide him stability, the authorities allow him to be adopted by Yael(Yael Abecassis) and Yoram(Roschdy Zem), a kind leftist couple. "Live and Become" is an emotionally complex movie about identity that has a couple of false steps(literally) but otherwise smartly handles the material in epic style. And Israel, for better or for worse a country of immigrants and good intentions, is the perfect setting for such a thorough examination. Difficult as it is for immigrants to adjust to their new country, it does not help when there is resistance from those already there who might see them as either strange or invaders, not liking their skin color or language, even if they share the same religion.(Regardless, we are all the same.) Yael and Yoram handle this situation better than most, even if they may seem condescending at first, aiding Schlomo who is in a harder position than most. Their peaceful humanism contrasts with Israel's recent conflicted history.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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