Don't see Life is Beautiful

With the news that we were going to be watching a movie in English for the first two days of this week, I was very excited. After about a month of grammar and reading Sandra Cisnero's horrible,feminist novel "The House on Mango Street", I was ready to relax. I knew it was going to be a Holocaust film, due to the fact that our class had just read the phenomenal novel, Night, by Elie Wiesel. But as I entered the classroom, I saw the movie we were going to be watching, a movie called Life is Beautiful. I had already seen this film, and I was very unhappy on having to see it again. But if that wasn't enough, the teacher started talking to the class about the movie, saying, "This movie is amazing, it's so funny and realistic and sad". And as she put in the movie, she then said that it was made in France. Made in France! Come on, does the name Roberto Benigni sound french to you? I was on the verge of saying, "Come on, if we are going to watch a holocaust picture, can't we see Schidnler's List for god's sake?!"

Well, as it turns out, I hated the movie.

It makes a joke of the tragedy of the holocaust and desensitizes the entire event. I realize that the filmmakers wanted to make a holocaust movie for kids, one that was dumbed-down enough for even the youngest audience, but did they ever think that maybe some subjects shouldn't be toyed-with? Instead of honestly portraying history, the film tries to make tradgedy into humor, death into joy, all the while saying, "Look, the holocaust wasn't too bad, with just alittle optimism, this guy was able to make everything great." I know I may be getting alittle carried away, but I feel very strongly about the holocaust. But I'll stop writing and leave you with one final word of advice: Don't support Life is Beautiful

roberto benigni is truely a buffoon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow what a coincidence. i read house on mango street last year. hated it. it sucked. i watch life is beautiful this year. it was an italian film wasn't it? that's what my teacher told me anyway... i agree that it was not an acurate portrayal of the holocaust. very, very simple. i have to read night now also. i just started it.

8:12 PM  
Blogger j.benjamin said...

Interesting...to answer your question, yes it is an italian film. by the way, do you have a blog?

8:33 PM  
Blogger meaghan said...

yea, it was me i just didn't notice it put me as anonymous. oops. i am almost done with the book now. fast read.

12:31 PM  
Blogger meaghan said...

yea, it was me i just didn't notice it put me as anonymous. oops. i am almost done with the book now. fast read.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Can there never be joy, even in moments of complete tragedy? That is, in my opinion, one of the most defining, inspiring realities of being human, the ability to simultaneously hold two, conflicting, emotions or thoughts.

I think the idea was that, despite this tragedy, there is still overwhelming beauty in this world.

Plus, is it really fair to end a criticism of the film with a personal attack on its creator? As Jeanette Winterson explains in her essay, "The Semiotics of Sex," art transcends the personal and autobiographical. She is speaking of literature, but I believe her words are relevant to film as well.

"Art coaxes out of us emotions that we normally do not feel. It is not that art sets out to schock (that is rare), it is rather that art occupies ground unconquered by social niceties. Seeking neither to please nor to displease, art works to enlarge emotional possibility. In a dead society that inevitably puts it on the side of the rebels. Do not mistake me, I am not of the voting party of bohemians and bad boys, and the rebelliousness of art does not make every rebel an artist. The rebellion of art is a daily rebellion against the state of living death routinely called real life."

3:46 PM  

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