La Vita E Bella

lAira G. ManaloAugust 31, 2012 COM31Mr. Edgar Garnace Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) I believe that being free is a matter of choice. We are free because we want to be defined not by other people but ourselves. We make choices together with the thought of making a choice for the good of everyone. We exist not for other people to tie strings on our hands and feet and do the manipulation. I don’t exactly know what to feel about this film. It was a good laugh and a painful thing for me at the same time.
Guido (Roberto Benigni) is such an optimistic human being, a positive father to his son Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini) and a loving husband to his wife Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), who he treated like a princess if I may have to mention. As for me, being a person who freaks out when things don’t go right, I have perfectly seen how Guido made life beautiful for his son and wife. It hurts me to see him hiding the truth from his son by reinventing the things that happens inside the concentration camp.
In the midst of that threatening situation, Guido manipulated his world and made life beautiful for him and his family. I think that is the very essence of the film, making life perfect for you, even if it really isn’t for the entire world. It is important that we find beauty even in the darkest and cruelest of places. Dora amazed me too. I will not forget how she willingly set foot into that train containing all Jewish people. I can see how strong her love is for her husband and son that she can give up her life just to be with them.

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I have seen her change from a spoiled girl who fell into Guido’s arms and turned out into someone braver and stronger, someone who thinks not much of her own sake anymore. This is where I would now start relating it to Existentialism. The very core of this philosophy is that “Existence precedes Essence”. It emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s own doings. It is just so ironic for me that a person like Guido is living in a world where freedom is the rarest of all terms.
The Nazis have defined what living should mean for them, which I also think is very contradicting to the center value of Existentialism, which is freedom. A person defines himself and what he wants to make of himself. No one could ever define him as a person but only what he wants him to be. The Jews in this movie let the Nazis define the world for them, though I know they are left with no other choice but to keep responding to what these people want them to do, because if not, they will cease to exist.
This is what Sartre called “Quietism. ” The poor Jews let the Nazis decide for them because they are afraid to die, to get hurt, even if being shot to death while fighting for freedom would be a better death than be degraded by people of other race, in my opinion. I have seen an authentic person in Guido. In his quiet ways he defined the world for himself. He fought for what he thinks is right and there he exercised his freedom.
He tried to fight his way out of the hellish camp if not for himself but for his family, and this he thinks is right not for himself but also for those other people with him. Life is beautiful. It will be if you want it to be. When things are not going right for me, I know ranting won’t make them all right. I know that I always have the choice. I would always remember Guido who has found beauty in the ugliest of places. Because the man who can accept all the barriers and restrictions in life and is not afraid of them is free.

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