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Life Is Beautiful [dubbed]

An unforgettable fable that proves love, family and imagination conquer all. 

Year: 1997 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Roberto Benigni 
Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini  
An image from Life Is Beautiful [dubbed]

The Academy Award winning film Life Is Beautiful will leave you warmed and emotional with its controversial portrayal of World War Two. The film was awarded 4 Oscars with four more nominations.

The film follows the story of Guido (Roberto Benigni), his wife Dora (Nicoletta Braschi - who was Benigni’s actual wife) and their son, Giosué, during the Second World War. It begins as Dora accidentally falls on Guido from a barn. They then have several “fateful” meetings in which he falls deeper in love with her although she is to be engaged to someone else. After a magical night at the theatre, Guido turns up as a waiter at her engagement party and they leave the party together. The film is set in two parts; one half focussing on his relationship with Dora and the other focussing on the traumatic events and effects of the war on the Jewish citizens.

The film then moves fifteen years later to when they have a child, Giosué. Guido and his son come across a sign stating “No Jews or Dogs allowed”. Shortly after this, Guido and his son are taken away to a concentration camp with Guido’s uncle. Here, Guido has to keep the faith alive and stay positive for his son who is scared in an unknown place without his mother.

What we find in this film is a hybrid of two genres delivering a significant balance between comedy and drama. At the heart of the film, lies director, writer and actor Roberto Benigni. His energetic, powerful and charismatic performance shines throughout the film providing a sympathetic portrayal of Guido, inviting you to find hope in the traumatic events of the Holocaust, as he does. The film will leave you touched and heart warmed with its emotional sentiment and slapstick comedic elements.

Chloe Haynes

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Autumn Term (35mm)
2012/2013 Spring Term (35mm)