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Life is Beautiful
 
 

Directed by Roberto Benigni, Italy 1997
116 mins. Italian and German dialogue with English sub-titles

WINNER : BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM AT 1999 OSCARS

WINNER : GRAND PRIX AT 1998 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

 
Summary:
 
Italian comedian Roberto Benigni accomplishes the impossible in his World War II comedy: he shapes a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust. An international sensation and the most successful foreign language film in US history, the picture also earned director/star Benigni Oscars for Foreign-language Film and Best Actor. He plays the Jewish country boy Guido, a madcap romantic in Mussolini's Italy. When the Nazis ship the men off to a concentration camp in the waning days of the war, Guido is determined to shelter his son from the evils around them and tirelessly maintains the ruse with comic ingenuity, even as the horrors escalate and the camp's population continues to dwindle - all the more impetus to keep his son safe, secure and hidden. Yet for all its wacky humour and inventive gags, Life is Beautiful is a moving and poignant tale of one father's sacrifice to save not just his young son's life but his innocence in the face of one of the most evil acts ever perpetrated by the human race.
 
What the Critics say:
 
"Dares to laugh in the face of the unthinkable. And because Benigni can be heart-rending without a trace of the maudlin, it works."  (Janet Maslin - New York Times)

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