Cinema: Fascist Fable

A farce trivializes the horror of the Holocaust

The place is clean, and though the work is hard and the rations are short, no one seems to sicken or die. There are references to mass extermination, but that brutal reality is never vividly presented. Indeed, the prisoners don't seem to see much of their jailers, who, when they do turn up, act as if they've drifted into this film from a Hogan's Heroes rerun--barking incomprehensible orders to cover their comic ineptitude.

This is life in a Nazi concentration camp as presented by Roberto Benigni, the star, director and co-writer (with Vincenzo Cerami) of Life Is Beautiful, which has...

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