Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 


Guido (Roberto Benigni) is a young Jewish man with a childlike innocence and imagination who dreams of owning a book shop. With his poet friend, Ferruccio, Guido comes to the Tuscan town of Arrezzo seeking fortune and romance, ignoring the growing anti-Semitism and the Fascist government. Guido falls in love with Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a beautiful young school teacher and a fairy tale romance ensues. Four years later, in the happiest year of their lives with a beautiful little boy, the fairy tale shatters when Guido and his son are sent to a concentration camp three months before the war's end. Out of love, Dora deports herself on the same train. Now in a nightmare world, Guido must use his bold imagination and every ounce of his indefatigable spirit to save those he loves.

"I only have to hear a few bars of the haunting theme from Life is Beautiful, to feel the hairs stand up on my neck. Roberto Benigni's captivating bitter-sweet tale is simply one of the most poignant and moving films I have ever seen. It's tragic, yet very funny, romantic and totally unpredictable.

On DVD, you can share this special experience on widescreen, and have the choice of watching it in its original Italian language with English subtitles, or indeed in dubbed English. I was interested to take a look at the dubbed version, which may introduce the film to those who haven't discovered the joys of appreciating films from different cultures in their native tongues, and although the voices are well matched, nothing can compare to the original.

The special features are limited: you can view the original trailer, select the chapter of your choice, and learn a little about Benigni. Did you know he was originally planning to be a priest? His film role models are Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Peter Sellers, and he is married to his co-star Nicoletta Braschi.

You'll laugh, and you'll certainly cry - Life is Beautiful is an unforgettable and extraordinary experience, proving that love and the power of the imagination are life's most magical elements."
Louise Keller

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CAST: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi

DIRECTOR: Roberto Benigni

RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 1, 2000

RRP: $34.95



We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.


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