Life is Beautiful

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How was Guido's life affected in the movie Life is Beutiful ?

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After Guido finally marries the love of his life and has a child, he begins to be harrassed by the Fascists. Soon he, Eliseo, and Giosue are taken away on a train to a concentration camp. In essence, his life is changed forever, but he does the best he can.

At the camp, Guido decides that he will create an elaborate ruse to protect his son from the horror of their situation. He tells Giosue that his own father took him on a "trip" just like this one when he was a boy, and that if he stays silent, does not cry or ask for his mother, and obeys all the rules, he will win points. After he wins 1,000 points, he will get first prize: a real tank. Giosue, excited at the idea, approaches the camp as a game rather than what it truly is: a prison.

The three adults go in very different directions once at the camp. Eliseo, since he is an old man, is taken to the showers. Dora goes to the women's camp, where she hears stories about the children being slaughtered and fears for the safety of her husband and son. Guido and Giosue go to the barracks, where Guido continues to imbue the darkness of the camp with an air of levity and joy. He even commandeers the loudspeaker so that he and Giosue can cry out to Dora that they miss her and love her.

Guido's hope for escape arrives when he is asked to be a waiter at an event where Doctor Lessing, an old friend of his from the restaurant back home, now a doctor in the Nazi army, will be dining. Doctor Lessing, however, ignores the gravity of Guido's situation; it seems that he only wanted Guido to wait tables at the party because he needed help solving a riddle. Desolate, Guido takes Giosue back to the barracks, but not before stopping to play the Offenbach opera that he and Dora once attended over the loudspeaker in an effort to lift his wife's spirits.

Soon the war is over, and the camp is thrown into a state of confusion and panic. All of the prisoners are being loaded onto trucks that are returning empty. Desperate to warn Dora, Guido tells Giosue to hide in a cabinet until everyone has gone, dons women's clothing, and sneaks over to the women's camp. He is discovered, but as he is marched off to his death, he manages to give his son one last moment of joy: as he walks by the cabinet where Giosue is hiding, he throws his son a wink and does a funny little walk--playing the game to the bitter end.

When morning arrives Giosue, seeing that everyone has gone, tentatively crawls out of the cabinet. He looks around in confusion and then hears a rumbling in the distance. His eyes light up: a real tank is rounding the corner! He has won! An American soldier pulls him up into the tank, and they ride out of the camp. As they pass the crowds of escaped prisoners, Giosue recognizes his mother and runs to her. She wraps him in a tight embrace. "We won!" he cries out. "Yes, we won," Dora says.