PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.
Roberto Benigni says the title comes from a quote by Leon Trotsky. In exile in Mexico, knowing he was about to be killed by Joseph Stalin's assassins, he saw his wife in the garden and wrote that, in spite of everything, "life is beautiful".
This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell.
When Dora kisses Guido under the table, her head is tilted to the right then is tilted to the left in the next shot.
The version shown at the Cannes festival in 1998 is slightly different from the original Italian theatrical release: some scenes have been slightly re-edited and a panel has been added at the beginning of the film, showing the phrase "This is a fairy tale", supposedly to avoid controversy over the subject matter.
Italian, German, English
£87,818 (UK) (14 February 1999)
$57,598,247 (USA) (3 October 1999)