What is your favourite film?
Life is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella) by Roberto Benigni
When, and where, was the first time you saw this film? Was it a particularly memorable day/company/experience?
We have always had a lot of films at home, one day I simply picked the film up and started watching it. I don’t remember why I chose it, I must have seen the trailer and remembered that we had the video. After watching it I was stunned, I couldn’t think of much else for days afterwards.
Favourite character and why?
Either Guido or his son Giosue. Guido does his best to hide the horrors of the Nazi camp from his son by turning the experience into a game.
When Guido goes to the Opera and sneaks Dora away from her then fiancé and takes her for ice cream.
Giosué Orefice: “No Jews or Dogs Allowed.” Why do all the shops say, “No Jews Allowed”?
Guido: Oh, that. “Not Allowed” signs are the latest trend! The other day, I was in a shop with my friend the kangaroo, but their sign said, “No Kangaroos Allowed,” and I said to my friend, “Well, what can I do? They don’t allow kangaroos.”
Giosué Orefice: Why doesn’t our shop have a “Not Allowed” sign?
Guido: Well, tomorrow, we’ll put one up. We won’t let in anything we don’t like. What don’t you like?
Giosué Orefice: Spiders.
Guido: Good. I don’t like Visigoths. Tomorrow, we’ll get a sign: “No Spiders or Visigoths Allowed.”
Who would you like to be in the film?
If I had to choose…Giosue. Through his innocence he manages to avoid the horrors of the camp.
Why is it your favourite?
It showed me that film could be so much more than big budget Hollywood, at 13/14 years old that left a very big impression on me. It also showed how serious subjects could be handled in a more light-hearted manner without taking away from the severity of the situation.