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Life is Beautiful, But Not for Jews: Another View of the Film by Benigni (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series) [Hardcover]

Kobi Niv , Jonathan Beyrak Lev

Price: £27.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Sep 2003 The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series (Book 107)
Roberto Benigni's romantic comedy Life is Beautiful enjoyed tremendous success everywhere it was shown. In addition to winning almost every possible film award, including three Oscars, lavish praise and film reviews, it grossed over a quarter of a billion dollars-the most profitable Italian movie ever. Very few have questioned the movie-until now. With sharp, uncompromising logic and eye-opening insight, Niv analyzes the film and its script scene-by-scene to show why Life is Beautiful is very far from being the innocent, charming, and heartwarming film it appears to be. The author argues that the film not only lends support to the central arguments of Holocaust deniers, but is actually a quasi-theological, Christian parable which seeks to justify the extermination of Jews in the 20th century as divine punishment for the sin of the crucifixion of Jesus two thousand years ago. Life is Beautiful, But Not for Jews is a riveting book that simply and concisely raises some important and complex ideas about film and psychology in post-Holocaust civilization. It also serves as an elementary course in the appreciation of films and artistic texts in general and in deciphering their deeper meanings, teaching the reader to more clearly grasp the hidden significance of cultural processes. This is the first English translation of the Hebrew text.

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Review

A brilliant argument...Kobi Niv mordantly deconstructs the secret of the box-office success of Roberto Benigni and his film. -- Meir Schnitzer Sofshavua Niv's book is an amazing text that presents its reader with a brilliant analysis, a book that blows your mind. In my opinion it should be required reading. -- Dudi Ben-Aroya Ma'ariv A thought-provoking book...[it] has fascinating things to say about filmmaking in general as a way for Western culture to bleach the moral stain of the Holocaust. -- Orit Prague Books and Literature Weekly Review This book is not only a thorough study of the subterranean prejudices in Benigni's celebrated film, but a brilliant, penetrating "screening" of the cinematic language in general, and of how an "innocent", "well-meaning" comedy can easily become a vehicle for dangerous racist stereotypes. I read it with fascination - it is a splendid book. -- Amos Oz, Internationally renowned author and essayist

About the Author

Kobi Niv is head of screenwriting studies at the Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University, and teaches scriptwriting at the Department of Communication Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and at the Film Department of the School of Arts at Beit Berl College. In addition to writing for several Israeli newspapers and television comedy programs, he has also authored feature films, award winning plays, children's books, and books on scriptwriting and film analysis.

Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 2.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid book 17 Jan 2004
By rudi shecther - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I just want you to know what the leading Israeli writer Amos Oz wrote about this book:
"This is a not only a thorough study of the subterranean prejudices in Benigni`s celebrated film, but a brilliant, penetrating 'screening' of the cinematic language in general, and of how an 'innocent' well-meaning' comedy can easily become a vechile for dangerous racist stereotypes. I read it with fascination - it is a splendid book."
10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stupid premise 11 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book, among other things, calls the little kid "stupid" for wanting to believe his father, claims that the father really didn't know where the trains were going (THE WHOLE MOVIE IS ABOUT THE FATHER MAKING HIS SON BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING IS OKAY!!!), claims that the movie makes the holocaust look like fun and games, claims the the movie teaches us that if the other families in the death camps had just been a little more "clever", that their children would have been saved as well, and a whole bunch of other faulty logic.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Instead of reading this book, get out and volunteer/do charity. Time will be better spent 10 July 2012
By RAChicago - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is pointless, mean spirited and borderline offensive. Actually this book does prove a point, that someone, somewhere, for some unknown reason, must always crap on someone's efforts, not matter how great the effort might be. Roberto Benigni created special, and did win all those awards, true, but his road to write this movie and getting it done, was filled with everyone, and I do mean everyone, telling him "Don't do it! You are crazy! This is the stupidest idea ever" but he stuck to his guts and created something we all can treasure and how love, in this case, of a father to his child, and a wife to her husband, transcends everything.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did you even watch the movie??? 28 Sep 2007
By Vince Caruso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
All I can think is that anyone can write crap and it'll be published. Did the author really even watch the movie?

Benigni plays a Jew that gives up his life to save his son... He's IN the concentration camp, so where is the denial??? He dies because he's a Jew. He loses his wife, his uncle and his life.

The Author (and the 5 star reviewers) need to get a clue (and a life). There's enough Real anti-semitism in the world (that is the fact of history) without a need to create it in criticism of a film that's only purpose is to glorify a JEWISH father giving his life to save his son from the facist Nazis.
3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reader fro NY 26 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A brilliant book showing that praising Benigni`s `funny` anti-Semitic `Life is Beautiful` brought us Gibson`s brutal anti-Semitic `Passion`. A must reading, not only for Jews.
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