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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini)

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini) (1970)

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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

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Average Rating: 3.9/5
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Vittorio De Sica directs the lyrical war drama Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis), based on a book by Giorgio Bassani. In Ferrara, Italy, at the beginning of WWII, anti-Semitism is spreading. Mussolini has passed several laws that forbid Jews from going to public schools, joining the army, or marrying non-Jews. While many middle-class Jewish families flee the country, the Finzi-Continis believe it's safe inside their sprawling estate. As a wealthy, aristocratic

Jun 19, 2001

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (0) | DVD (7)

For its story moment before the gathering storm broke, this film is a garden wall held up, a finger in the dyke, just before the deluge and fall into darkness.

February 5, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Splendidly recreated, Vittorio De Sica's elegantly painful and eloquently tragic tribute to the demise of the Jewish aristocracy in Italy in WWII deservedly won the best foreign-language Oscar in 1971.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

a highly effective piece of work by an always interesting and thoughtful filmmaker

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

Audience Reviews for The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini)

There's so much going on in this film, from the symbolism of the garden to the relationship between Micol and Giorgio. It definitely deserves more than one viewing and just goes to demonstrate how great Italian cinema is.
November 16, 2011
Raajay

Super Reviewer

Each country has their WWII legacy, but the Italian auteurs transform their collective experience into cinematic political testaments. In the Finzi-Contini passover scene, Alberto's presentiment about the war is that the 'good' side will win. The irony, reality, and horror is that any faction, be it Fascism, Nazism, Communism, faithfully believes it is fighting for the 'good.' Giorgio's father also says that we all die at least once; it's better to do so when you are young, so you can rebuild, recreate. Powerful messages with profound implications.
January 13, 2010
bookmunki

Super Reviewer

The garden is IDYLLIC. Giorgio (Capolicchio) is from a middle class Jewish Italian family. He has the pleasure of spending some leisurely time inside the gates of an upper class Jewish family's property. Micol (Sanda) and Alberto (Berger) Finzi Contini, sister and brother, play tennis, ride bikes and talk about politics with their young friends. Bruno (Testi) is also there though he is not Jewish. It is the late 1930's. Giorgio observes as Italian laws in his town begin restricting the rights of Jews. His father (Valli) doesn't think that the Fascists in Italy will let the treatment of the Jews get as bad as the Nazis in Germany have. But Giorgio sees things spiraling out of control, the situation getting ready to fall like the seasonal fall leaves captured in the opening credits. Giorgio and his younger brother may not be able to finish their college education. Meanwhile Alberto gets sick with pneumonia, or is it some other mysterious disease. Micol flirts with and teases Giorgio and Bruno. Giorgio falls in love, but Micol keeps him at a distance. Perhaps it is their class difference or the fact that because the Finzi-Continis have lived such a privileged life they hardly consider themselves Jewish anymore. Maybe Micol's attraction to Bruno is an effort to blend in with the Aryan, non-Jewish, population. Sadly, very few escape history.

The movie starts with lots of sunshine and the pristine white preppy clothes of the young adults as well as the spotless condition of the interior of the Finzi-Contini mansion. By the end we see many more drab grays. Yet the movie keeps reminding the audience to look up toward the tree tops and the sun in hope.
May 20, 2010
hypathio7

Super Reviewer

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  • Der Garten der Finzi Contini (DE)
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Il giardino dei Finzi Contini) (UK)
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