Essay: Compare and Contrast Elements in the Film Life Is Beautiful

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¶ … film "Life is Beautiful"

Life is Beautiful

Roberto Benigni's motion picture Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) depicts a series of events happening before, during, and after the Holocaust, highlighting the importance of humor in the struggle to survive. Throughout his life, the film's protagonist, Guido, goes through great efforts and virtually risks his social status and his life in order to protect the people he loves. It is actually surprising that a comedy can be made regarding the Holocaust, but considering that the director uses a multitude of elements with the purpose of describing the life of a Jewish individual living in Nazi-dominated territory contemporary to the Holocaust. Benigni engages in depicting humor, indifference, love, and ethnic differentiation as a means of having the public gain a better understanding of the events lasting from 1939 to 1945.

Consequent to seeing the movie, viewers are likely to realize that it is meant to express contrast. While the first part of the motion picture is filled with factors that please the audience, the second part is distinct through the fact that it presents the Holocaust, which mainly is contains death and suffering. Even with that, these two settings are united by the humor Guido uses as a means to survive. The bleak environment in work camps is surely nothing like the seemingly perfect landscape where Dora and Guido first meet, but Guido manages to convince his son that everything is all right and that they are simply involved in playing a game, making it appear as if matters had not changed much ever since the first part of the movie.

Similarly to how Guido wants to pose in the careless individual in the first part of the movie, he continues playing this role in the second part. He appears to share no interest in the fact that his bookstore will not be opened or that he and his son are held captive in the work camp, as he directs his attention toward the only things he knows will save him-humor. Guido's indifference is not as real as it might initially seem, considering that clearly acknowledges the fact that his existence is threatened by the fact that he is not able to sustain himself in the first part of the movie and by the fact that he risks death while staying in the work camp. One can observe how the protagonist is not actually very concerned about his life and about the lives of his loved ones in particular. Guido is free in both parts of the movie, even with the fact that he is controlled, firstly by the aristocracy in Italy and secondly by the guards in the work camp. The Jewish man emphasizes the fact that society can take away his plans and even that it… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Compare and Contrast Elements in the Film Life Is Beautiful.  (2010, November 8).  Retrieved December 11, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Compare and Contrast Elements in the Film Life Is Beautiful."  8 November 2010.  Web.  11 December 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Compare and Contrast Elements in the Film Life Is Beautiful."  November 8, 2010.  Accessed December 11, 2019.