Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 01 - Favorite foreign film

 
Well, if we're not counting British movies, but only movies in a foreign language, then it's Life is Beautiful (1997).

In case you've never heard of this film, it's about a Jewish Italian who uses his wit and quirky humor to woo the love of his life ("Buon giorno, Principessa!"), then uses those same resources to help his son survive life in a Nazi concentration camp.  It's an amazing story, one that never fails to move me to both laughter and tears.

Nicoletta Braschi, Roberto Benigni, Giorgio Cantarini

I first saw Life is Beautiful while on tour with my college choir in May of 2000.  The various choir members were being housed by members of the congregation where we'd done a concert.  My friend Pebbles and I stayed with a young single mom and her two little boys, who were maybe seven and nine.  Certainly under ten.  The mom stopped on the way to her home to rent the video, and we watched it with her and her kids during supper.  Although the movie was in Italian with English subtitles, those two little boys were enthralled -- their mom said they had seen it several times and reacted the same way every time.  They were as wonderful to watch as the movie.

I can't watch Life is Beautiful very often -- it's too poignant.  Like a rich fudge or port wine, it's better as a once-in-a-great-while treat.

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