Benigni, ‘Life’ being honored by Jerusalem

Mayor gives helmer special commendation

“Life Is Beautiful” may not be to everyone’s taste but Israel is paying homage to the Miramax competition pic, written and directed by Italian megastar Roberto Benigni.

Not only have at least some Israeli critics written glowing reviews, but the mayor of Jerusalem has announced that he is awarding Benigni with a special commendation for “furthering the universal understanding of Jewish history.”

“Life” is about an Italian family sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis during WWII. The father, played by Benigni, hides his young son in the camp and pretends to him that the whole experience is a game.

Pic has caused some controversy among critics due to what some see as its trivialization of the holocaust.

The award will be presented at a special screening of the film in Jerusalem on July 10.