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‘Train’ helmer stops in Israel for next pic

Mihaileanu film to begin shooting in March

MILAN — Five years after “Train of Life” earned him critical and commercial kudos, Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu is set to shoot “Va, Vis, et Deviens,” (Go, See, and Become).

Like “Train of Life,” his first feature, Mihaileanu’s new film will deal with the displacement of Jews, this time Ethiopian ones who were relocated to Israel in the mid-1980s as part of Operation Moses. But in this case, there’s a twist.

“It will be the story of a Christian Ethiopian boy from a poverty-stricken family pushed by his mother to pretend he is a Jewish orphan so that he can be adopted by a more well-to-do Jewish family in Israel,” Mihaileanu said.

Once in Israel, protag will experience the problems of identity faced by Ethiopian Jews who live there; meanwhile he keeps secret the fact that he is actually a Christian.

Shooting is set to start in Israel in March. Pic is co-produced by France’s Elzevir, Italy’s Cattleya and Israel’s Transfax Films.

“Train of Life” won prizes in several festivals, including the 1999 Sundance audience award. It was released in the U.S. by Paramount Classics.

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