On June 14, the World Youth Alliance held a screening and discussion of Roberto Benigni’s La vita è bella. This movie pays great testament to the beauty of humanity in a time that is most remembered for the crimes that were committed against human dignity: the Holocaust.
The movie brought forth meaningful discussions about human dignity and conversations about the preservation of innocence. The movie illustrates the atrocities of the Holocaust in a way that is powerful yet appropriate. The blatant disregard for human dignity is visible in the treatment of the Jews in the ghetto, expelling them from their homes, refusing them essentials for survival, and in the concentration camp itself.
Guido, the lead character in the movie and father of the family, strives to shield his son from the horrors of the concentration camp. He is successful but only through devoting his entire life to accomplishing this. After the film, attendees of the screening discussed Guido’s feat and the importance of innocence and the father’s role in the family. Preserving innocence is perhaps the most profound theme in the film and brought forth many discussion points. Preservation of innocence is an important aspect of upbringing because it promotes healthy, mature exposure to major issues and protects children from the damaging aspects of the world when they are still in their developmental stages. This protection is important because, at these young ages, children cannot possibly grasp the seriousness of these issues. Also, children are developing mentally. The world they grow up in will shape the person they grow into. No parent would choose to have their child shaped by the indecencies of the world and should choose to protect their innocence during these foundational stages. Guido does just this, and that is what makes him a successful father.
WYA had a great turnout for the film screening and fruitful discussion about prominent issues that WYA has sought to address this year.
By Joseph Paggi, an intern at the WYA North America Office
Please join us for the WYA North America Coffee House Performance at the WYA Headquarters on Tuesday, June 24, to celebrate human dignity in a fun, relaxed coffee house environment. There will be various performances of music, poetry, dancing, and more. All guests and performances are welcome. If you would like to come or would like to perform, please RSVP to Joseph Paggi at firstname.lastname@example.org (contact info is also on the flyer). We hope to see you there!