Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful is a fable about a father who concocts a story to distract his son from the fact that they are in a concentration camp.

Vocabulary: Fascisim, Manifesto of Race, The Schopenhauer Method

Themes: transcending evil, parental love

Scenes

  1. Explain background of Fascist Italy in 1939. Many people don’t realize that there were Italian Jews who were rounded up towards the end of the war. Mussolini was trying to placate Hitler, who was growing suspicious of Mussolini’s loyalty.
  2. Scene 1 (3 min.): View to the point of the Italian King’s arrival.
  3. Describe the Manifesto of Race.
  4. Scenes 9 & 10 (4 min.): View through to the end of the opera and explanation of his good ear – Look for:
    • Sarcastic comments about racism
    • Camera shot in theater-the drama of his head at a right angle to all the others
  5. Scene 15 (4 min.) View through dogs and Jews – Look for sandbags around the statues
  6. Psalms 37:12-17
  7. Scenes 18 & 19 (12 min.) View to the point where Guido leaves the classroom.
  8. Isaiah 66: 13
  9. Scene 26 ( 15 min.) Watch the desolation of the young boy as he comes out of his hiding place and how yet he looks around for his ‘prize.’

Questions:

  1. Was the father right to concoct such a game?
  2. If you were being persecuted for your faith, would you find comfort in Psalms 37:12-19?
  3. Does the film have any impact on your faith journey?

Scripture:Psalms 37:12-19

The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.
The wicked draw their swords
and string their bows to kill the poor
and the oppressed,
to slaughter those who do right.
But they will be stabbed through the heart
with their own swords,
and their bows will be broken.
It is better to be godly
and have little than to be evil and possess much.
For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the LORD takes care of the godly.
Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive a reward that lasts forever.
They will survive through hard times;
even in famine they will have more than enough.

Isaiah 66: 13

As a mother comforts her child,

so will I comfort you;

and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.

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