Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful

Roberto Benigni (1997)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Is this a glowing tribute to humanity in extremis, or an ill-judged trivialisation of pitiless barbarism? Both verdicts have been passed on Roberto Benigni's multi-award-winning film. However, while the sensitivities of those supporting the latter view have to be taken into account, it would be wrong to deny that there were moments of simple joy and treasurable intimacy even at the height of the Holocaust. The opening section, charting Benigni's courtship of the imperious Nicoletta Braschi, is delightful. It also serves as a poignant backdrop for the nightmare to follow, as Benigni tries to shelter his son from the bitterest of truths. The result is courageous, humanistic film-making.


An eccentric Italian Jew and his son are sent to a concentration camp during the Second World War, while his wife is held prisoner in another area. Determined to spare his son from having to cope with the horrors around them, he convinces the boy that it is all a game. Drama, starring an Oscar-winning Roberto Benigni, with Nicoletta Braschi. In Italian, German and English.

Cast & Crew

Guido Roberto Benigni
Dora Nicoletta Braschi
Giosué Giorgio Cantarini
Uncle Giustino Durano
Ferruccio Sergio Bustric
Dora's mother Marisa Paredes
Dr Lessing Horst Buchholz
Guicciardini Lidia Alfonsi
Headmistress Giuliana Lojodice
Director Roberto Benigni
see more

Other Information

Language: Italian +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Contains violence. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray