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Courtesy of Menemsha Films

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet
Map & Directions

Directed by Radu Mihaileanu

2005, in Hebrew, French, and Amharic with English subtitles


140 minutes



Live and Become

Va, vis et deviens

Introduced by Josef Helfenstein, Director, The Menil Collection

Rich Levy, member of the MFAH film committee and director of Inprint, introduces Dr. Helfenstein. Live and Become is a magnificent epic story about an Ethiopian boy who is airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel during Operation Moses in 1984. Although he thrives as an adoptive son of a loving family, he is plagued by two big secrets: He is neither a Jew nor an orphan, just an African boy who survived and wants—somehow—to return home. Buoyed by a profound and unfaltering motherly love—both in his memory and in the arms of his adoptive mother—he ultimately finds an identity and a happiness all his own.

“Rewarding, rich in humor and warmth, and abuzz with the turmoil of juggling multiple identities that is a critical element of these cross-cultural times.”—Los Angeles Times

Josef Helfenstein, Ph.D. came to the Menil Collection in 2004 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he had served as the director of the Krannert Art Museum and as a professor at the University’s School of Art and Design. Dr. Helfenstein is one of the world’s leading scholars on Paul Klee, having served as chief curator of the Kunstmuseum Berne’s Paul Klee Foundation; served as guest curator in museums around the world.