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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (original title)
Trailer
3:44 | Trailer
The story of the Finzi-Continis, a noble family of Ferrara, during the Jewish persecution in Italy's 1930s.

Director:

Vittorio De Sica
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lino Capolicchio ... Giorgio
Dominique Sanda ... Micòl Finzi Contini
Fabio Testi ... Giampiero Malnate
Romolo Valli ... Giorgio's Father
Helmut Berger ... Alberto
Camillo Cesarei Camillo Cesarei ... Micol's Father
Inna Alexeievna Inna Alexeievna ... Regina Artom - Micol's Grandmother (as Inna Alexeieff)
Katina Morisani Katina Morisani ... Micol's Mother
Barbara Pilavin ... Giorgio's Mother (as Barbara Leonard Pilavin)
Michael Berger Michael Berger
Ettore Geri Ettore Geri
Raffaele Curi Raffaele Curi ... Ernesto
Gianpaolo Duregon Gianpaolo Duregon
Marcella Gentile Marcella Gentile
Cinzia Bruno Cinzia Bruno ... Young Micol
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Storyline

Mussolini's Italy, late 1930s: the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading wealthy Jewish families. Their adult children gather friends for tennis and parties at their lovely grounds, with the rest of the world at bay, while politics close in. Written by OJT

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Finzi-Continis were Italians living in Ferrara, Italy in 1938. They were rich, beautiful, unapproachable and Jewish. They lived in a walled dream world until they were forced to open the gates.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

Italy | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

16 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,105, 24 November 1996

Gross USA:

$596,694
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For Dominique Sanda, it was her first Italian feature film. See more »

Quotes

Giorgio's Father: In life, in order to understand, to really understand the world, you must die at least once. So it's better to die young, when there's still time left to recover and live again.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Vivere
Written by Cesare A. Bixio (uncredited)
Performed by Tito Schipa
Per concessione della EMI Italiana S.p.A.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How Safe is Your World?
3 May 2001 | by Preston-10See all my reviews

Chances are, if you are only casually aware of the world that you live in, your life imitates that of the Finzi-Continis, one of two families depicted in this film.

The beginning of de Sica's film follows the state of affairs in Italy shortly after the Fascist government of Mussolini has declared the ordinary tennis clubs off limits for Italian Jews-just the beginning for the Government's separatist stance. The Jews in town react in various ways: Giorgio, who is in love with the daughter of the Finzi-Continis, is enraged; his father his philosophical; Giorgio's brother is upset only after being sent to France to study, and later, finding out to his horror about the German concentration camps. To the Finzi-Continis, though, it doesn't really matter. They're different from the other Jews because wealth and privilege have bred them into a family as proud as it is vulnerable. They hardly seem to know, or even care, about the fact that their rights are slowly being taken away. It seems that years of prestige and social status have put them above the laws of the land.

The walled garden of the Finzi-Continis is a symbol for the false security that people retain, unaware that problems on the outside may force them into reality. The garden of the film seems to promise that nothing will change and that everything will remain the same. Interestingly, de Sica films the garden in a way that enforces this theme of false security. He never orients us visually with the rest of the city, so we can never tell how big or how small the garden is. Have you ever felt uneasy being somewhere not knowing the exact dimensions of your boundary? That's the feeling we get here with shots of the garden that seem to stretch on forever.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is a great film for many reasons, one of which is how it forces us to take a proactive stance regarding the world that we live in. There's nothing wrong with feeling secure but it's important to try to take an objective stance with reference to the world that we live in. And you certainly don't want to be on the outside looking in to those who have realized it already.


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