La vita è bella !


Well, literally, “life is beautiful”. I watched the film of the same title on Sunday with Fr Mark Vickers and the rest of the UHSU Catholic Society members — it was in Italian with English subs, and told the story of how a family of three people made it in a concentration camp during World War II……. in an extremely HILARIOUS way. Rire

No, seriously, see this :

This is the one scene which made me laugh out really loud.

We follow the exploits of Guido, a Jewish Italian bookstore keeper and waiter who falls in love with an Aryan Catholic schoolteacher, Dora (who was betrothed to a fascist minister at the beginning of the film). The two eventually get married and raise a son, Josué, in the midst of anti-Semitic tension. Guido, his uncle and his son are taken to a concentration camp at the height of the Nazi occupation, and Dora insists on being taken on the same train as her husband and son at the last few moments before departure. And immediately after this we see Guido’s exploits in the concentration camp…

He makes the situation a lot more understandable and tolerable for Josué, telling him that the concentration camp is like a game, where the first prize is for the one person who gets a thousand points. The prize ? A real-life battle tank !

The thing about Guido is that with him, life is beautiful. He makes mundane everyday encounters very funny, and gives the people around him something to cherish… sometimes even at the expense of his own life and safety. He refers to Dora affectionately, calling her “Princess” and greeting her with an exuberant “Buongiorno principessa !” (“Good morning princess !”)

See what I said ? He even risked his life doing it — we never know what the authorities in the camp would’ve done had they caught him…

At the end, he sacrifices his very life for Josué, and several days later, Josué returns along with the survivors of the camp… IN A REAL-LIFE TANK !

This film did indeed make me cry, but it also did make me laugh — the film was released more than ten years ago but the bittersweet taste still lingers, like fine wine in the mouth. Kudos to the directors for giving us this heartwarming story.

Troisnyx’s rating : No on second thought, I’ve no idea how to input the stars from Windows Live Writer, but out of 5, this gets 4.5.


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