Life Is Beautiful (Italian: La vita è bella) is a 1997 Italian comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who must employ his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp.
In Italy in 1939, Guido Orefice (Benigni) is a funny and charismatic young Jewish man looking for work in a city. He falls in love with a local school teacher, Dora (portrayed by Benigni’s actual wife Nicoletta Braschi), who is to be engaged to a rich but arrogant civil servant. Guido engineers further meetings with her, seizing on coincidental incidents to declare his affection for her, and finally wins her over. He steals her from her engagement party on a horse, humiliating her fiance and mother. Soon they are married and have a son, Joshua (Giorgio Cantarini).
Director: Roberto Benigni
Producer: Gianluigi Braschi, Elda Ferri
Writer: Roberto Benigni, Vincenzo Cerami
Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini, Giustino Durano, Horst Buchholz
Music: Nicola Piovani
Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli
Editing: Simona Paggi
Studio: Cecchi Gori Group
Release date: December 20, 1997 (Italy), October 23, 1998 (United States)
Language Italian, German, English