Life Is Beautiful ★★★★½

🏆 8,5 | 2019 list |

I've never seen a film that midway through took such a brutal and drastic turn. After the scene where Dora deliberately joins her family in the train to Auschwitz, I paused the movie and went outside, because I needed fresh air, a smoke and a drink to finish this.

Some people might criticize the mix of genres in the light of the horrible but very real subject matter with which the film is dealing. But to me, the fact that this starts of as a romantic and somewhat farytale-like comedy and then suddenly drifts into an uncompromisingly heartbraking tragedy, in which every smile freezes to a painful reflex, is exactly what makes this film so great and rigorously powerful.

This is a deeply moving ode to the power of human imagination, the boundless will to survive and, after all, human dignity, which even in the midst of the gruesome terror of the holocaust withstands to be annihilated. What an exceptional movie.

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Edit: The only reason I'm not giving this 5 stars is because most of the humor flew straight by me and I completely blame the German sync for that.

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