Movie Memories: Remember that Life is Beautiful

life is beautiful

This week, each of your True Classics crew members will be sharing her own “movie memories,” ranging from the classics to the not-so-much-but-still-wonderful films that we love. Today we continue with Sarah’s remembrances!

When I was young, I didn’t understand the power of film. Going to the movies in high school was an excuse to hang out with my friends without our parents and to hold boys’ hands in the dark. I can’t remember the first movie I ever saw or the first time I went to a theater; but I can remember the first time I realized that films could be powerful mediums to share important messages.

I watched Life is Beautiful (1998) for the first time when I was in college. It was such a powerful film that it changed my view of the world.

I was lucky enough to have had a very sheltered childhood. I was never exposed to the horrors of war, injustice, or poverty. I had learned about the Holocaust in school, but watching Life is Beautiful allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the absolute horror which occurred during this dark period of history. I sat watching this film for the first time, tears streaming down my face, wondering how I had been so naive to the abhorrent and destructive potential of hatred and prejudice in this world.

Now that I am a mother, this film is even harder to watch. It is a testament of a father’s love for his child, which resounds in me the deep need to protect my own child from pain and fear. In reviewing the films that most impacted me, I realize that most of them involve tragedies surrounding children: Life is Beautiful, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Color of Paradise, Penny Serenade, The Kite Runner … even before I had a child of my own, it was very hard for me to watch films where an innocent babe suffered. Films like Life is Beautiful remind us of the horrors that have occurred in the past that we should strive to avoid in the future, for the sake of our children.

[If you enjoyed Life is Beautiful, you may also be interested in the film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008), staring Asa Butterfield, which has a similar subject and tone.]


sarah dSarah has been a member of the True Classics crew since 2012.  An English and humanities instructor, Sarah and her husband, Tim, live in the Atlanta, GA area with their adorable new baby, Asa. To find out more about Sarah, visit her dedicated page on our site!

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