‘Faith in Film’ Evening at St Columba’s Church, Culloden – Life is Beautiful (1997)


Film Showing:   “Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella)”

Screening:         Wednesday 13 April, from 7.00pm

Venue:               St. Columba’s Church, Culloden



Italian actor Roberto Benigni accomplishes the impossible in his World War II epic Life Is Beautiful: he shapes a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust.  An international sensation and the most successful foreign language film in US history, the picture also won 3 Academy Awards in 1998 for director-cowriter-star Roberto Benigni: Best Actor, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Film Music.

Benigni plays the Jewish country boy Guido, a madcap romantic in Mussolini’s Italy who wins the heart of beautiful Dora (Benigni’s real-life wife, Nicoletta Braschi), and raises a darling son (Giorgio Cantarini) in the shadow of fascism.  When the Nazis ship the men off to a concentration camp in the waning days of the war, Guido is determined to shelter his son from the evils around them.  Guido tirelessly maintains an elaborate ruse with comic ingenuity, even as the horrors escalate.  Benigni walks a fine line mining comedy from tragedy and his efforts are pure fantasy – he accomplishes feats no man could realistically pull off.  Yet for all its wacky humour and inventive gags, Life Is Beautiful is a moving and poignant tale of one father’s sacrifice to save not just his young son’s life but his innocence in the face of evil.

Please note that the dialogue is in Italian, with English subtitles. 


Certificate PG-13

Running Time (1 hour 56 minutes)


Director:  Roberto Benigni

Writers:  Vincenzo Cerami (story), Roberto Benigni (story)

Stars: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi and Giorgio Cantarini

Genre:  Comedy, Drama, Romance