Saturday, January 15, 2011

la vita e bella


i've had to do some reading this week on the subject of memory, and it seems that all of the literature uses the holocaust as an example. i think this is absolutely fitting for the subject of private as well as collective memory. however, it's kind of a downer to read for hours about one of the worst genocides in all of history.

i remember when i was in the 6th grade and we were talking about the holocaust in class, our teacher had us all stand up. she then asked everyone who didn't have blonde hair to sit. then everyone who didn't have blue eyes. there were 2 of us left standing out of about 24. we were the "lucky ones," she told us, because we would have been safe as part of the "supreme" aryan race. at age 11, i didn't really understand the severity and importance of the holocaust. now i do.

because i've been reading and thinking about the holocaust so much, i felt compelled to watch life is beautiful tonight. you haven't seen it? shame on you. no, seriously. shame on you. i own this movie and haven't watched it in a couple of years because it is mentally and emotionally draining to see. with that said, it is one of the most magnificent movies ever made (in my humble opinion).

the premise? an italian jewish man, his wife, and his young son are sent to a concentration camp right before the end of the war. in order to keep his son in high spirits, his father tells him that they are playing a game and must do what the soldiers order so that they can win "first prize." written, directed, and starring italian actor roberto benigni, this film won 3 academy awards (foreign film, actor, score) in 1997. it is italian with english subtitles. it is going to be necessary that you see it. get on netflix, go to blockbuster (if you can find one that hasn't closed!), or borrow it from me. see it. and appreciate it.

tonight, i'm praying for those who remember, for those who share their memories so that we might better understand, and for those who lost their lives.

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