Live and Become

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Live and Become
Theatrical poster
Directed by Radu Mihaileanu
Produced by Denis Carot
Marie Masmonteil
Radu Mihaileanu
Marek Rozenbaum
Itai Tamir
Written by Alain-Michel Blanc
Radu Mihaileanu
Starring Moshe Agazai
Moshe Abebe
Sirak M. Sabahat
Yael Abecassis
Roschdy Zem
Roni Hadar
Rami Danon
Raymonde Abecassis
Mimi Abonesh Kebede
Meskie Shibru-Sivan Hadar
Music by Armand Amar
Edited by Ludo Troch
Distributed by Menemsha Films
Release dates
30 March 2005
Running time
140 minutes
Country France
Language Amharic / Hebrew / French

Live and Become (French: Va, Vis et Deviens) is a 2005 French film about an Ethiopian Christian boy who disguises himself as an Ethiopian Jew to escape famine and emigrates to Israel. It was directed by Romanian-born Radu Mihăileanu. It won awards at the Cannes, Berlin and Vancouver film festivals among others.


Shlomo, an Ethiopian boy, is placed by his Christian mother with an Ethiopian Jewish woman whose child has died. This woman, who will become his adoptive mother, is about to be airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel during Operation Moses in 1984. His birth mother, who hopes for a better life for him, tells him “Go, live, and become,” as he leaves her to get on the bus. The film tells of his growing up in Israel and how he deals with the secrets he carries: not being Jewish and having left his birth mother.


  • Moshe Agazai as Child Shlomo
  • Moshe Abebe as Teenage Shlomo
  • Sirak M. Sabahat as Adult Shlomo
  • Yael Abecassis as Yael Harrari
  • Roschdy Zem as Yoram Harrari
  • Roni Hadar as Sarah
  • Rami Danon as Papy
  • Raymonde Abecassis as Hana
  • Mimi Abonesh Kebede as Suzy
  • Meskie Shibru-Sivan Hadar as Shlomo's mother
  • Yitzhak Edgar as Qes Amhra



  • Best Screenplay, Cesar ("French Oscar") 2005
  • Audience Award, Berlin Film Festival 2005
  • European Cinema Award, Berlin Film Festival 2005
  • Ecumenical Award, Berlin Film Festival 2005
  • Audience Award, Vancouver International Film Festival 2005
  • Golden Swan (Best Film), Copenhagen International Film Festival 2005
  • Best Screenplay, Copenhagen International Film Festival 2005
  • Jury Prize (Best Film), Valenciennes Film Festival 2005
  • Audience Award (Best Film), Valenciennes Film Festival 2005

In the United States[edit]

Audience Awards unless otherwise noted

External links[edit]