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Life is Beautiful (La Vita è Bella)

Reviewed by Akiko Tanaka from Japan

Akiko Tanaka
Photo: Sandy Peters
In 1939, during World War II in Italy, Guido, the main character, arrived in a small town to live with his uncle. He was a good and kind, cheerful and humorous person. He met and fell in love with Dora, a school teacher; and they got married.

 

Director: Roberto Benigni

Type: drama, comedy

Actors: Roberto Benigni (Guido)
           Nicoletta Braschi (Dora)
           Giorgio Cantarini (Giosué)

Country/Date: Italy/1998


Life is Beautiful is an Italian movie directed by Roberto Benigni in 1998. It won the Academy Foreign Movie award in 2000 and was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1939, during World War II in Italy, Guido, the main character, arrived in a small town to live with his uncle. He was a good and kind, cheerful and humorous person. He met and fell in love with Dora, a school teacher who was a very smart and strong person; and they got married.

Five years later, on the day of their young son Joshua's birthday, their lives changed. Guido and Joshua were taken by the Nazis to a concentration camp because they were Jewish. Dora also went to a concentration camp on her own because she loved them.

So that Joshua wouldn't be afraid of everything that was happening in the camp, Guido told him it was a game. He pretended it was all a game in front of Joshua to protect him. Just before the war was over, Guido heroically saves his son.

It is a very beautiful and sad story. It is a heartrending movie that shows us we should never forget what happened and stand up against war.


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