La Vita e Bella (Life Is Beautiful) Analysis

La Vita e Bella (Life Is Beautiful)The film La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful) was first released in Italy in 1997, and in the United States in 1998. Co-written (with Vincenzo Cerami) and directed by Roberto Benigni, the film stars Benigni himself as Guido, an Italian Jew, Nicoletta Braschi (Benigni’s real-life wife) who plays Dora, an Italian woman but not Jewish, and Giorgio Cantarini who plays Joshua, the couple’s five-year old son. The story is set in the late 1930s before the Germans took over Italy in 1944.

Guido plays a funny waiter who amuses a German doctor (played by Horst Buchholz) by solving riddles the doctor himself had difficulty answering. His humor plays an important part throughout the film in that he sweeps away the Fascist’s fiancee, Dora through his comic behavior, and later marries her. When the Germans assumed power, the Jews were arrested, including Guido, his uncle, and his son Joshua. In the Nazi camp, Guido hides his son and makes him believe that everything happening is just part of a big game in which they will win a big toy tank.

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Although Guido endures the sufferings in the camp, which include the loss of his beloved uncle and being separated from his wife, he loses his life in an attempt to save his wife from the Holocaust. Although the death of Guido seems to be a tragic ending, it is compensated by the reunion of the mother and son when they were rescued by the Americans. In the end, Guido’s promise to his son was fulfilled when he was invited by an American soldier to ride on the tank.This film is a very important contribution of the director/actor Roberto Benigni to the history of film, and to the audience in general.

It serves to depict the sufferings of the Jews from the hands of the Germans who brutally killed a million of them during the Holocaust. The morbid historical background seems to be taken lightly in the film with the humor of the protagonist who convinces his son that the sufferings they have to undergo can earn them some points to a big prize. In the film, we see how the Jews were exterminated, specially the elderly and the sick. We can also infer that a lot of children died since only a number of them were left towards the end.

Aside from mirroring historical truths, the film also tackles how a father lovingly took his responsibility of saving his son from hunger and a possible death through his wits. In doing so, it persuades the audience to act like Guido—to be as loving and interesting—to their kids even at such an adverse time.Another heroic characteristic that Guido displays is being able to announce through a loudspeaker in the camp his feelings to his wife, which gives Dora the courage to move on. Overall, we see that the main character will do everything, although heroic it may seem, to save his loved ones from dying.

Moreover, the film also strikes us with the manner Guido handles his sufferings though there seems to be no hope left for the Jews to be saved. A lot of people would give up their lives and commit suicide or take drugs just to quit from looking at the world in which they live. Here, the protagonist bravely faced all adversities and even with humor, in hope of at least saving their lives. The film particularly gives inspiration to those who are emotionally beaten, impressing upon them that life is truly beautiful.

Although several films have been produced about the War and the Holocaust, this film is particularly different because it inspires every individual to never lose hope and accept defeat. Also, the theme of dedication to one’s family serves a very timely reminder that we should cherish each day with our loved ones because we do not know when we would lose them.Furthermore, the film also gives inspiration to other producers of our time to come up with similar works of art, from which people of the new generation can learn from. In my own view, the themes of the film regarding love and sacrifice are what the world needs to learn.

Work CitedRosenberg, Jennifer. “Review of Life is Beautiful.” 7 January 1999. About.

com.                               5 December 2007. <http://www.filmfestivals.com/review/lavita/lavita.htm>.

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