The garden of the Finzi-Continis

The garden of the Finzi-Continis

Giardino dei Finzi-Contini

DVD | Italian
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This drama is set in Italy in 1938, when Mussolini's anti-Semetic edicts began to isolate the Jews from their communities. Among them were the Finzi-Continis, an aristocratic Jewish family forced for the first time to acknowledge the world beyond its fenced garden.


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Dec 09, 2018

A fumbling, confusing, patchy revision of the novel by Giorgio Bassani. Whereas the novel is elegant, lapidary at times, anti-romantic, and anti-historicist, the movie is nothing much at all, though I understand--I gave up on watching it after about a half-hour--it shows Micol's relationship with Malnate being physically consummated (in the novel, it remains a supposition, mostly of Micol's unsuccessful suitor, the narrator, called Giorgio in the film but unnamed in the novel) and shows Malnate being killed at the front (no novel could be further removed from the front than Bassani's, and the various perishings of all the characters who, by 1957, the present of the novel, have died are noted before the flashback that is its story begins and ends). I read the novel just before seeing the film, and I wondered how anyone would go about filming it. "Poorly" is the answer made by the once-great Vittorio de Sica, whose muse fled him when Italian neorealism faded away. --Ray Olson

Apr 07, 2017

This is a 1970 Italian drama directed by Vittorio de Sica, based on Giorgio Bassani's novel of the same name.
The whole film appears rather flat and superficial as if staged on a slow-paced, monotonous play.
The director might have been able to make it more dramatic with actions in the case of Bruno's death at the Russian front.
Although Micòl's love affair with Bruno seems ill-contrived in the first place, the director should've made it more realistic and believable.

Jan 03, 2013

Superb. Beautifully filmed, well-acted, ultimately wrenching story as told by the rejected suitor of Micòl, the daughter of the Finzi-Continis. (Giorgio Bassani himself survived the Nazi and Fascist genocide in hiding with his own family; he became a noted post-war writer and chronicler of the murdered Jews of Ferrara.) One of greatest films of Italian movie director di Sica. [The catalog Bib entry erroneously omits the director: Vittorio di Sica. A bibliographic search of films [using author] by di Sica does not linclude The Garden...among the listing of films directed by him and which are available at SPL]


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