"I did not
want to meticulously reconstruct Italy of that time. This is not a historical
document by any means. Instead, it is more like a children's story,
with the camp being sort of a Platonic picture of Evil's lair or the
I wanted to create a character who was totally integrated into Italian
society, who lives his life, does his job, isn't the least interested
in politics and then with one blow, his life is suddenly over. That's
just the way it really happened to many people. Guido's family is one
anyone can identify with - happy, loving. And then, without having done
anything wrong and without any reason, they are thrown into horror."
to what I read, saw and felt in the victim's accounts, I realized nothing
in a film could even come close to the reality of what happened. You
can't show unimaginable horror - you can only ever show less than what
it was. So I didn't want audiences to look for realism in my movie."
"... I was
so struck by how unfathomable the horror was, that it seemed quite possible
for a man like Guido to pretend the whole ordeal was only a game. This
is something Primo Levi talks about in 'If This Is A Man'. He describes
the morning reveille at the camp when all the prisoners are naked and
motionless and he looks around thinking: 'What if all this were nothing
but a joke? This cannot be true...' This seemed a question all the survivors
had in mind: how could this have been true?"
part of an interview with Roberto Begnini