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Gian Maria Volonté,
In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather a circle of friends for constant rounds of tennis and parties at their villa with its lovely grounds, keeping the rest of the world at bay. Into the circle steps Giorgio, a Jew from the middle class who falls in love with Micol. She seems to toy with him, and even makes love to one of his friends while she knows Giorgio is watching. While his love cannot seem to break through to her to draw her out of her garden idyll, the forces of politics close in. Written by
One of the best - the tragedy is its continued timeliness
While undeniably not for the shallow or those who expect their movies to lay every detail out for them amid plenty of "action," THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS (a parable on a latter day "Eden" of doomed innocence?) remains after more than a quarter century one of the most perfect reflections of the gradual process by which the Holocaust could have happened in a Europe which believed itself civilized.
The tragic love story allows us into the garden. Only our own action - or blind ignorance - can allow us out.
Not a lot need be added to the perceptive comments already examining the details of this beautiful and moving film - but Americans, especially those of my fellow Republicans who are able to objectively look at their own country and leaders, should seriously examine the politicians who use fear and nebulous "enemies" to gain and hold power in the light of this film. The realization is inescapable that the world of the Finzi-Continis is not that far removed from our own. A question of degree not of kind.
The garden is still seductively attractive, the country around it still relatively free, but will we follow the course the Finzi-Continis took or will we come actively out of our garden while there is time?
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