Life is Beautiful
(1997) Life is Beautiful is an Italian film about a Jewish Italian family sent to a concentration camp. In order to protect his son the father Guido pretends that everything is actually an elaborate game.
Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote, directed and starred, won an Academy award for best actor. His beautiful wife in real life, Nicoletta Braschi, is his wife in the film. I can’t believe I waited to so long to see it. The sets, the music … all fabulous.
Benigni is the movie. The first half is oh, so Chaplin. A soliloquy.
I read that he was criticized for making a comedy about the Holocaust. It’s not a comedy at all. Roberto Benigni’s father had spent two years in a German labor camp. His little boy, born later, grew up with nightmare memories.
No, Life is Beautiful is a fantasy. It’s the story that a little boy would create in his dreams, a story to replace that which was just too painful.
I cried, but believe it or not it was a happy cry. Oh, if only this is how it could have been.