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Live and Become (2008) 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… 2008-02-01 Unrated PT140M Drama Yael Abecassis Roschdy Zem Menemsha
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Live and Become (2008)

MPAA Rating: Unrated

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Live and Become | IDENTITY CRISIS Roni Hadar (left) and Sirak Sabahat in Live and Become , Radu Mihaileanu's tale of a secretly Christian Ethiopian who emigrates to Israel
IDENTITY CRISIS Roni Hadar (left) and Sirak Sabahat in Live and Become, Radu Mihaileanu's tale of a secretly Christian Ethiopian who emigrates to Israel
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Feb 01, 2008; Rated: Unrated; Length: 140 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Yael Abecassis and Roschdy Zem; Distributor: Menemsha

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-

Originally posted Mar 12, 2008 Published in issue #983 Mar 21, 2008 Order article reprints