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The Search For Justice
Life is Beautiful can be described as a tragicomedy which portrays the Holocaust as a game which can be won if you don t get caught. This film was written and produced by Roberto Benigni in 1998. The film Escape from Sobibor was written by Richard Rashke and produced in 1987. It was based on a true story that the Nazi s couldn t hide.
I chose both movies because of the different views they portrayed of the Holocaust. It seems that in both movies, survival and hope are the two strongest characteristics of the Jewish people. Each movie depicts this in a different way.
Robert Benigni portrays the Nazi concentration camp as a game with his son in order to shelter him from the cruel aspects of the camp, where as in the Escape from Sobibor, the main goal is to escape the cruelty of the camp.
Life is Beautiful is a fictional movie based on the surrounding facts of the Holocaust. Escape from Sobibor is a true story written by a survivor himself. In Life is Beautiful, the most meaningful aspects of the movie were the conversations Benigni had with his son. It shows how far the father would go to protect his son and the love he had for him. It allowed you to feel the compassion of the situation despite the Nazi concentration camp. This story was written from a paternal perspective yet still being able to identify with the images of the Holocaust. This movie showed me how to live life positively. It shows how even in the worst situations you can still laugh and still love.
Escape from Sobibor allowed you to feel the desperation and hopelessness of the Jewish people. It was written from the Jewish prisoners perspective and portrayed their determination to obtain their freedom they once had. The movie showed a perspective that is not widely known. Sobibor is a little known concentration camp and the events surrounding it are not known either. Watching the people get off the train, knowing that they were going to die was very dramatic. The factual events surrounding this movie only increased the drama and the realization of the horrors of the concentration camps.
In the Escape from Sobibor it is a movie based on a true story so the events are fairly accurate from the authors perspective. The clothing and surrounding scenes were depicts the times of the events. The prisoners of war in the concentration camp that escaped went on to explain how they survived and what they did after the escape. Many of these escapee s testified against the SS soldiers for war crimes. A little over half of the prisoners managed to make it to safety and the message was to let the world know what was going on. This message was received in the way of media, and was received with horror and disbelief. As a result movies like this were made, war crime trials and people convicted by the testimonies of escapees all came to pass. The Escape from Sobibor grabbed my attention because it is a true story. I found it interesting and was glad it ended in triumph. The film was important because it allowed a true story to be told to an audience that in general had little knowledge of this camp. People escaped and were able to tell the story.
In Life is Beautiful the story was fictional but was based during a true period of time. The imagery of the Holocaust, the concentration camp and the fear instilled by the situations of the camp all added to the reality of the times. Robert Benigni took a different approach than Rashke. There was a perceived understanding that the audience would already have an understanding of what was going on and the reality of the camps. The message was received with humour and at other times with sadness. The movie first brought about an understanding of the comedic love story, the family and the tragedy that followed because of the circumstances. The media was important because it delivered a message that was hard to accept. It hurts to see a family so happy get torn apart. There is an element of realism here as well with the awareness that this did happen to many families during the time of the Holocaust. I believe this movie could have been approached with a little more sensitivity towards the tragedy of the Jewish people. I don t know if this movie captured the magnitude of what happened in reality but the humour allowed you to see the movie without feeling the horror of the traditional imagery of massacres.
These films gave me two different perspectives of the Holocaust. It gave me one from a paternal sensitive view and one from a victim s point of view. This would give someone compassion for what the Jewish people went through. It also taught me that you could get through the toughest times. It may give one a better understanding of suffering from a family perspective. In Escape from Sobibor it affected my perspective in giving me a better understanding of their determination for survival and the incredible amount of self-control they must have had in holding back their anger of the Nazis. The lessons this can teach others and me are lessons of compassion for differences in religion, values, and perseverance. The lesson of self-control is something we all face when we are looking at situations that we don t want to be in. Self-control can be in anger management, watching what we say and how we handle our problems. The danger of this in relationship to the Nazis though would be to allow that anger to bottle up and explode.
I might improve the film Life is Beautiful by making it a little more serious with more factual information but still keeping the humour. In Escape from Sobibor it seemed that the free time shown in the movie by the prisoners was unrealistic. This may have been factual but it didn t seem to flow with the film. I might take this part out and show more meaningful relationships and more scenes like that of those in Shindlers List. I would recommend both films because they gave such different and unique ways of portraying concentration camps and the life and times while there. It brings awareness of the tragedy to the forefront and these movies, fictional or fact, does not allow the tragedy to die.
Life is Beautiful is a fictional movie based on the surrounding facts of the Holocaust. Escape from Sobibor is a true story written by a survivor himself. In Life is Beautiful, it allowed you to feel the compassion of the situation despite the Nazi concentration camp. This movie showed me how to live life positively. Escape from Sobibor allowed you to feel the desperation and hopelessness of the Jewish people. Both movies depicted people of courage facing tragedy. The movies were entertaining, and evoked many emotions. They evoked emotions of sadness, horror, disbelief and pain. They represent true horrors in our history that should not be repeated or forgotten. Movies that continue to entertain educate and remind us or show us what we as humans are capable of doing to each other should continue to be produced so that we don t forget. One film being factual and one being fictional offered two different views of the Holocaust. Life is beautiful written and produced by a non-Jewish person gave a compassionate view of the times written with the surroundings of the Holocaust, where in Escape from Sobibar the movie was the Holocaust and the events were the essence.
I enjoyed watching both movies but enjoyed watching Escape from Sobibar better. I found this movie to be more true to reality about the life and times during the Holocaust, the concentration camps and the suffering of the people. Life is Beautiful was fun to watch and showed an enormous amount of sensitivity from parent to child and sacrifice but that story could have been written in other times of history. Not to take away from the horror of separation from family and death in the camps but in Sobibar it showed the reality of the horror. The fear, the random shootings, the work camps, the gas chambers, the massacres. This is what I believe will never make people forget.
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