One of my all time favorite movies is La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) by Roberto Benigni. Why am I writing about this? Well, the title speaks for itself… life indeed is beautiful.. there’s so much to be grateful for. And this is really an all-time excellent feel good movie that made me cry in the end… talking about “unconditional love”… this is a great follow up blog. Just imagine all the sacrifices he made so that his child won’t end up with PTSD after this horrific experience. If it were just us normal, regular folks as we like to label ourselves, we’d be nut jobs already having to go through what they went through and we’d be lucky not to be taking anti-depressants for the rest of our lives after that. He still saw the glass as half full the whole time he was at the camp because he had his family and he was blessed and fortunate til the end. Ultimately he got what he wanted… kinda sorta… I don’t want to give away spoilers in case you decide to watch it. It’s an excellent family movie. The power of the mind indeed!
For those who haven’t seen this movie you’re missing out and if you have no plans of watching it, here’s a synopsis…
This was set in a Tuscan town during WW II. A tragic rom-com about Guido Orefice , a Jewish – Italian librarian who starts a fairy tale life by courting and marrying a lovely woman named Dora and their union bore them a son they named Giosue. They lived happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. Guido is comical and sharp, making the best from each situation he encounters. When the war started, Guido, and son were taken to the camp and Dora tries to join them but men and women are separated in the camp, Dora and Guido never see each other during the internment. Thus, Guido pulls off stunts, such as using the camp’s loudspeaker, to send messages, symbolic or literal, to Dora to assure her that he and their son are safe. Giosuè who hates to take baths and showers barely avoids being gassed himself because he did not follow the other children when they had been ordered to enter the gas chambers.
After they are imprisoned in a concentration camp, Guido goes to elaborate lengths to keep his son from understanding the truth of their situation. To protect Giosué from the horror of what is happening to them, Guido employ his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. Guido explains to Giosuè that the camp is a complicated game in which he must perform the tasks Guido gives him. Giosuè is at times reluctant to go along with the game, but Guido convinces him each time to continue on. The other prisoners were actually in on it which made it a little less complicated. In this game, certain tasks will earn them points and whoever gets 1,000 points first will win a tank. Guido’s primary goal is to keep Giosué safe at all cost, while he tries to figure out a way to get his family out of the camp and keep the Germans at bay from learning what he is doing with Giosué. He tells him that if he cries, complains that he wants his mother, or says that he is hungry, he will lose points, while quiet boys who hide from the camp guards earn extra points. Guido uses this game to explain features of the concentration camp that would otherwise be frightening for a young child: the guards are mean only because they want the tank for themselves; the dwindling numbers of children (who are being killed in gas chambers) are only hiding in order to score more points than Giosuè so they can win the game. He puts off Giosuè’s requests to end the game and return home by convincing him that they are in the lead for the tank, and need only wait a short while before they can return home with their tank. Guido eventually buys additional time by intentionally getting Giosuè mixed in with nearby German schoolchildren, and briefly working as a servant for the same kids in order to help keep the other officials from noticing that Giosuè is actually Italian.
Giosuè appears to believe his father because of Guido’s convincing performance and his own innocence. Guido maintains this story right until the end when, in the chaos of shutting down the camp as the Allied forces approach, he tells his son to stay in a box until everybody has left, this being the final competition before the tank is his. Guido makes an attempt to find his wife in the midst of the chaos and is caught by a German soldier who decided to execute Guido. As he was being led off by the soldier, while he is walking to his death, Guido passes by Giosuè one last time, still in character and playing the game. The next morning, Giosuè emerges from the sweatbox, just as a U.S. Army unit led by a Sherman tank arrives and the camp is liberated. Giosuè was ecstatic nd is convinced he has won the game and the prize. While they are traveling, the soldiers allow Giosuè to ride on the tank with them and during the trip he finds Dora leaving the camp and they’re finally reunited.
Thanks for reading… I hope you enjoyed it…
~~~ Namaste ❤ MariaeZen