In 1930s Italy, a carefree Jewish waiter named Guido courts and marries a lovely woman from a nearby city. Their romance is full of comedic mishaps. Guido and his wife have a son and live happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. In an attempt to hold his family together and help his son survive the horrors of a Jewish Concentration Camp, Guido convinces his son that the their imprisonment is a huge game for which the winner would receive the grand prize of a tank.
This movie is one of the most dramatic depictions of a man's love for his wife and son ever filmed. This bitter-sweet story masterfully weaves romance, comedy, and drama into a heroic portrait of a marriage in which a husband goes to extraordinary lengths to show love to his wife...and who shows the same creativity in loving and caring for his son. Watch in the original Italian and read the subtitles to best appreciate the personality of the characters.
Laughter with, not at, others
Ardent love, no matter what
Acting upon good & resolute beliefs, despite danger
Downloadable resources for teaching history and more using the film: Life is Beautiful. Read More
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A substantial portion of film is set within the horror of the holocaust - with some images of human beings who are enslaved, imprisoned, and killed. Includes a couple of scenes of a mass grave near a Nazi camp.
Scenes in the film show that during the time of WWII, shops and other property belonging to Jews, were stolen or destroyed.