In 1984, an operation by the Israeli secret service airlifted thousands of Falashas, Ethiopian Jews displaced by civil war and famine, to seek solace and refuge in Israel. An Ethiopian Christian widow urges the mother of a deceased boy to take her 9-year-old son and instructs him to 'become’ Jewish in order to survive. Once in Israel, he encounters isolation and loneliness as he longs for his mother and stumbles in a society that does not fully accept him. The film recounts his journey as a young boy, a teenager and a fully grown adult as he learns to live with the drastic changes of his adopted home.

An epic film on tough issues.

It's 1985 and Ethiopian Jews, known as Falasha, are secretly airlifted from their famine and war torn country into Israel. A young Christian boy, Schlomo (Mosche Agazai), is given a chance of survival when his mother arranges for him to assume the identity of a Falash woman's dead son. Placed with a liberal Israeli family his secret becomes burdensome. How long can he keep denying who he is? And when will he be reunited with his mother?

highlights a much neglected piece of history

Live and Become

highlights a much neglected piece of history that raises the issues of racisms and identity. Three actors play the character of Schlomo as we follow his journey into manhood. The youngest of these is Mosche Agazai, whose performance was most tender and vulnerable. Radu Mihileanu has created an epic film that is technically brilliant, but at times can feel overwhelmed by the many issues he is trying to cover. But this is essentially the story of a boy displaced by poverty, and for that alone it is a well worth watching.