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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
A fun way to upgrade your Italian vocabulary and get an in-depth insight into Italian culture is by watching the wonders of the Italian cinema itself! Italy has fostered its vibrant artistic flair since the Romans, entering a period of grand grace during the renaissance, and still today the artistic veins of thousands of Italians are showcased in the some of the best films Italy has to offer. Get ready for a long film day with my personal top five Italian films!
If you’re searching to be inspired by the melodic Neapolitan language then this is the film for you! This 2008 film directed by Matteo Garrone, a highly credited Italian film maker, is based on a worldwide famous book by journalist and writer Roberto Savaiano. Based in Campania the film is centred on the Casalesi clan within the Camorra, a mafia-themed secret criminal organisation with origins in Naples and Caserta - which is worryingly extremely close to where I live in Italy! The film begins with the murdering of gangsters, which is ultimately part of a shooting between clans, and then goes on to closely examining five distinct stories of people who are involved, in some way or another, with the Camorra. Between tales of horror lies a grotesque reality, if you want to learn more about how organised crimes affects Italy then search no more.
La Vita è bella (life is beautiful)
This 1997 film is directed by Roberto Benigni, who also stars in the film playing the role of Guido, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who uses his colourful imagination to hide the horrors of the Nazis from his child. It is a truly heart felt film which has been shown in schools in Italy for years, especially during the Shoah (more commonly known as The Holocaust), due to its sentimental humanisation of the historic facts surrounding the grey years of the war. The film was partially inspired by Roberto’s own upbringing as, before his birth, his father had endured three full years living in the terrifying Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany, which was originally built as a prisoners’ camp. The insight into Italian politics is absolutely remarkable as Guido plays witness to the growing Fascist movement and an example of the new hatred towards Jews is when Guido rides off with Dora, whom he loves, on a horse painted in green and full of anti-Semitic words of despise. When Guido and his son are moved to the same concentration camp he tries his utmost best to veil the reality from his son by saying they are playing a game. His son, Joshua, is at times weary and doesn’t want to continue but Guido convinces him each time and Joshua never questions what his father says, even in the face of starvation and witnessing death after death as just some of the many atrocities of the camp. The love Guido has for his son is enough for him to find the inner strength for survival as he puts his son’s needs before his own sense of desperation and bewilderness; he does not fall apart for his son. As to be expected Roberto Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor, the Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This heart-warming, sad and deeply moving film is one worth watching for sure.