Guido is funny young Jewish man looking for work in a city. He falls in love with a local school teacher, Dora. But she is at the time engaged to a rich man. Guido steals her from her engagement part. Soon they get married and later have a son Joshua. Meanwhile Anti-Jewish laws have been enforced in Italy. On Joshua’s birthday Dora, returning home, finds her son and husband are missing. They have been deported. Dora decides to get into the train which is taking them away to be with them.
In the concentration camp, Guido hides their true situation from his son, telling him that the camp is a complicated game in which Joshua must perform the tasks Guido gives him. The father plays on his son’s fascination with tanks telling him that the team that reaches one thousand points will win one. Guido’s main concern is to save his son. Guido maintains this story right until the end when, in the chaos of shutting down the camp as the Americans approach, he tries to find Dora. Tragically he is caught and executed by a Nazi soldier, while his son is hiding in a wastebasket, according the rules of the game.
The next morning, Joshua emerges from the wastebasket, they let him ride in the tank until, later that day, he finds Dora in the crowd of people streaming out of the camp. Guido tried so hard to make sure Joshua was well hidden from the soldiers. I was deeply touched by his love and will to save his son. Also, I believe I was pulled into the movie because of the main character’s unbelievably good acting. Under the inhumane circumstances, the movie accentuated the love for the wife and the son.