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


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

Critics 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.



Total Count: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,143
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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.


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

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (15)

  • 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.

    Jun 27, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 28, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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.

    Mar 12, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • A stirring and uplifting tale of racial and religious assimilation.

    Feb 13, 2008

    Andrew Sarris

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

    Feb 4, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Both a love story and inspirational tale of an individual finding peace with himself in a hostile environment.

    Feb 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

  • Sep 20, 2011
    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 Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2010
    "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 Super Reviewer

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