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

1971

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

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,443
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Movie Info

Vittori DeSica's Garden of the Finzi-Continis is a moving film about an aristocratic Jewish family living in Italy during World War II who don't comprehend the threat of the Nazis until its too late. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and boasts terrific performances by Helmut Berger and Dominique Sanda.

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

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (13)

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

  • Jan 13, 2010
    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.
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2009
    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.
    Wildaly M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2007
    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.
    Byron B Super Reviewer

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