Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur
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 Jewish family, they think their luxurious garden walls will protect them from fascism. Micol Finzi Contini (Dominique Sanda) and her brother (Helmut Berger) invite their Jewish friends to join them in the estate for parties, tennis, and games while the war ravages on. Middle-class Jew Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio) attends the parties with his friend Malnate (Fabio Testi). Giorgio and Micol are childhood sweethearts, but she begins to reject him in favor of Malnate. She also refuses to accept that there's a war going on. Eventually they can pretend no longer, and the war closes in on them. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1971.
war, anti-Semitism, aristocracy, family, gardener, Holocaust, Nazism, resistance
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance