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February 06, 2008

Live and Become

2022thumb This overlong story of an Ethiopian boy's experiences attempting to pass himself off as Jewish in order to enter Israel, gets bogged down with a meandering script that fails to gain momentum. The story begins in 1984 at a refugee camp in Sudan where an Israeli mission is underway to rescue Ethiopian Jews to Israel. A non-Jewish mother sees the opportunity for her nine-year-old Solomon and sends him off on a journey that must necessarily come full circle in Africa. Romanian writer/director Radu Mihaileanu clearly cares deeply for his subject but gets sidelined from pulling it together. The use of amateur actors in primary roles also reflects poorly on a potentially touching story.

Not Rated. 148 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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