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Live and Become

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Live and Become

Live and Become

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
runtime:
140 minutes
Limited Release Date:
02/01/08
performer:
Yael Abecassis, Roschdy Zem
distributor:
Menemsha
author:
Alain-Michel Blanc
genre:
Drama

We gave it a B-

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. Make that really loaded: At the urging of the mother he left behind, the hero of Live and Become hides his Christian identity and passes as a Jew for political sanctuary, then faces Jew-on-Jew bigotry in his adoptive country. In Mihaileanu’s 1998 Train of Life, Jews passed as Nazis to survive; the filmmaker clearly likes the big stretch. B-