Italian filmmaker and actor Roberto Benigni has been compared to everyone from Woody Allen to to Charlie Chaplin and Robin Williams, which makes him pretty happy: "This is very good because they are wonderful actors," he says.
Benigni's new film, Life Is Beautiful, won top honors at the Cannes Film Festival. It's a comic tragedy -- a love story set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. Benigni, who also wrote and directed the film, stars as a father who tries to mask the horrors of a concentration camp from his young son.
The story is close to Benigni's heart. His father survived two years in a work camp, where he was forced to build weapons but never lost his sense of humanity. "The right and duty to say life is beautiful till the last step of our life, we deserve this," says Benigni.
Life Is Beautiful is now playing in selected cities, but will open nationwide on Friday.
In a poll taken in Italy, 30 percent of women say they would like to take a trip with Robert Benigni. But 20 percent of the men said they would like to go along as well.
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