Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Live and Become -- a Film Review: I am amazed by the fact that this film did not get more advertising exposure. Perhaps, it is because it surrounds a theme particularly interesting if one is Jewish and even then the plight of the Falasha or black Ethiopian Jews is little known among the general Jewish population. Despite that, there is, I think, much in this film to which everyone can relate. It captured my soul and I was emotionally enmeshed in it. A black Christian Ethiopian young boy in a Sudanese refugee camp, because of the urging of his mother, pretends to be Jewish to get to Israel to escape the horrendous conditions he is in. It surrounds a dire conflict in Sudanwhich took place in the 1980's and the Israeli Operation Moses rescue which air-lifted those Ethiopian Jews caught in the middle of that struggle and brought them to Israel. It could, however, certainly be the Sudan that exists today, Iraq or anywhere the brutality of warfare occurs and the innocents who are swept up, enveloped, brutalized and killed by it. It centers around concepts of racism and man's inhumanity to man. It is also about love -- especially a mother's love for her child, a stranger's love and a love between two people which transcends race.

For those who are Jewish, I think, it is an especially poignant film as it is about what it means to be a Jew, who is Jewish and how that is determined. It reflects the diversity in Israel itself about those core, ever-present and debatable issues which determine Israeli citizenship. It is about the plight of the Falasha or Ethiopian black Jews in Israel who are refugees and allowed entry into Israel solely based on their being Jewish. Sometimes, the larger Jewish populous who consider themselves white have ambivalent and less-than-welcoming feelings about the Falasha. Clearly, worldwide, being a Jew is more than being religious and this work points that out insightfully and with pathos. I have no criticism of the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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