The Eagle’s Cry Review: Life is Beautiful


Throughout my years in school, my teachers made me read several books and watch different movies. While reading books or watching movies for a class, it is sometimes harder to enjoy the story because it isn’t your choice. However, if you are lucky you will be asked to read or watch something that truly sticks with you.  

Personally, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy books or films I have seen/ read in a class, even though it is a small amount. When you feel as though you are connected to the book or film in a way, it leaves you with a comforted feeling; a feeling of knowing you will leave your classroom with knowledge that you will take into your future and use throughout your life. 

The most recent impact on my life from a class was in AP Seminar. Following the days of finishing our class novel Night by Eliezer Wiesel, we discussed WW2 in more depth. We then watched the film, Life is Beautiful

This movie starts out as a fairly comedic piece. It follows the blissful Italian waiter Guido Orefice, and how he meets his wife Dora and falls in love. It then shows their son, Giouse, and the very tight bond he shares with his parents. The dynamic of the family plays a huge role in the movie and can be considered one of the major themes throughout the film. 

Later in the movie, the three get sent to a concentration camp. Even though concentration camps are serious and a tragedy that many innocent souls had to go through, the hope and joyfulness throughout the film does not get lost. Guido tells his son that this is all just a game and if they do everything correctly they will win. He puts a positive spin on an unfortunate situation so that what truly was hell on earth could be just a little bit better for them. The father never reveals his weaknesses  in front of his son and keeps his blissful personality throughout the film.

When all children were told to go in the showers, Giouse refuses to go and he runs to his father instead. His father realizes what was truly happening to the children, and as a part of the game, his son must hide from the German guards. The film follows along their journey and eventual path to freedom. 

This movie will tug on your emotions; it will make you laugh and it will make you cry. This is mainly because you’re seeing everything from a different perspective. You see a happy man with his equally happy son and wife being taken away from their home. You see them try to remain themselves throughout the torture they endure while at the camp. It reminds you of the innocent people who were put through such intense cruelty and pain, taken away from everything they love. 

It gives you a deeper understanding of how these people truly felt. They tried their hardest to stay sane and remain the person they were before being brought to the camps. It shows a man trying his best to make sure his child and wife are safe. He tries to remain happy but the viewers slowly see him struggle to keep his positive outlook on life. The father and son eventually split up, leaving a lingering sad feeling because of their close relationship. The movie ends up on a happier note with the reunion of the mother and son, but it did not feel the same.

While speaking to my fellow classmate, Ella Arnone, she said, “It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as you watch the family go through the camp.” 

It was evident to everyone in the class that despite the humor used in certain scenes, the movie was extremely raw and emotional. The film comes off as light and funny but as things progress, the mood shifts; however, it never fails to capture a sense of lightness throughout.