First of all, let me clarify that whoever said that you can't make a comedy about the Holocaust was right, and that's why this film stops being a comedy the moment Guido, Giosue and Dora enter the concentration camp. the first half of the movie is a romantic comedy, basically designed to set up Guido's character and capacity for unquestioning, absolute love. The second half takes place in a concentration camp, into which Guido and his family are deported. The movie then turns from comedy to heartbreaking tragedy. Benignis achievement is absolutely unique, in that he shows all the madness of the holocaust, but no violence, which is not necessary because all happens in the viewer's mind. I was not only terrified and touched to the heart, when the movie was over, I cried like I've never cried at a movie before( with the exception of Schindler's List.) Words cannot describe the emotional density of this movie. It surely was the best film in 98 and should have got the Best Picture Oscar. If it had been an American film, it would have.