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Live and Become (French: Va, vis et deviens) is a 2005 French drama 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 Berlin and Vancouver film festivals among others.

Live and Become
Theatrical poster
Directed byRadu Mihaileanu
Produced byDenis Carot
Marie Masmonteil
Radu Mihaileanu
Marek Rozenbaum
Itai Tamir
Written byAlain-Michel Blanc
Radu Mihaileanu
StarringMoshe Agazai
Moshe Abebe
Sirak M. Sabahat
Yael Abecassis
Roschdy Zem
Roni Hadar
Rami Danon
Raymonde Abecassis
Mimi Abonesh Kebede
Meskie Shibru-Sivan Hadar
Narrated byPatrick Descamps
Music byArmand Amar
CinematographyRémy Chevrin
Edited byLudo Troch
Distributed byLes Films du Losange
Release date
  • 11 February 2005 (2005-02-11) (Berlin)
  • 30 March 2005 (2005-03-30) (France)
Running time
140 minutes
Budget€5.3 million[2]
Box office$3.7 million[3]


Schlomo, 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 Schlomo
  • Moshe Abebe as Teenage Schlomo
  • Sirak M. Sabahat as Adult Schlomo
  • 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 Schlomo's mother
  • Yitzhak Edgar as Qes Amhra



Award / Film Festival Category Recipients and nominees Result
Berlin International Film Festival Panorama Audience Award (feature film) Won
Europa Cinemas Label Won
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Panorama) Won
César Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Radu Mihaileanu Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Alain-Michel Blanc and Radu Mihaileanu Won
Best Original Music Armand Amar Nominated
Copenhagen International Film Festival Best Film Won
Best Script Alain-Michel Blanc and Radu Mihaileanu Won
Cinemania (film festival) Prix du public Won
Globes de Cristal Award Best Film Nominated
Lumières Awards World Audience Award Won
Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award Runner-up
Vancouver International Film Festival Audience Award (international film) Won

In the United StatesEdit

Audience Awards unless otherwise noted


  1. ^ "Five of the Most Celebrated French-Language African Films". GlobalVoices.
  2. ^ "Va, vis et deviens". JP's Box-Office.
  3. ^ "Va, vis, et deviens". Box Office Mojo.

External linksEdit