Actualizado en  abril de 2024   

Volume 6 / Issue 1
[gris]September 2010[/gris]
Genocide: eyewitness of films
[gris]ISSN 1553-5053[/gris]


It becomes necessary to dismantle the point of view from which the film "Life Is Beautiful" by Roberto Benigni is entitled, idealizing the character that he portrays in the movie. This father, through the game which he invents for his son in the barracks of the concentration camp allows (him) to show that "life can become beautiful" and that "humor and play usually help in that regard." The veil that his character spreads out over the terror of the extermination camp serves as a salvation for his son and at the same time as an express manifesto of "the paradox of beauty in the womb of terror."

In the article, some reflections about "for whom" this embellishment of life is possible are introduced from the cinematic text. This is: Who would say that "life is beautiful"? And on the other hand, what happens when we are part of a game without knowing it? What happens when, believing that we are playing, we are actually living something that is true? In these cases, the agreement is broken and we find our selves being swept up in deceit. Does the deception of the game protect the son or the father? The make believe game protects or refutes a known reality: the realilty of Nazism and its genocidal machinery, where parents and children had to journey through the actual experience of uncertainty toward the future, to find themselves altered by panic itself, feeling equally vulnerable before a life that is, obviously, not always beautiful.

Life is not beautiful, it’s life

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Genocides: The Witness of Cinema

Genocide: Silence, Justice and Transference

The Politics of Memory

About Roberto Benigni’s film La vita è bella

Life is not beautiful, it’s life

“Sophie’s Choice”: The Lethal Factor


aesthethika // Revista internacional de estudio e investigación interdisciplinaria sobre subjetividad, política y arte