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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

Il giardino dei Finzi Contini (original title)
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... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Giorgio
...
Micòl Finzi Contini
...
Bruno Malnate
...
Giorgio's Father
...
Alberto
Camillo Cesarei ...
Micol's Father
Inna Alexeievna ...
Micol's Grandmother (as Inna Alexeieff)
Katina Morisani ...
Micol's Mother
...
Giorgio's Mother (as Barbara Leonard Pilavin)
Michael Berger
Ettore Geri
Raffaele Curi ...
Ernesto
Gianpaolo Duregon
Marcella Gentile
Cinzia Bruno ...
Young Micol
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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sex | nudity | love | friend | politics | See All (200) »

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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

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Release Date:

16 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$112,105 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Gross:

$596,694 (USA) (10 January 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Micol: You and I are not normal people. For the two of us, what counts more than the possession of things - how shall I put it - is the remembrance of things, the memory of things.
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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.
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User Reviews

 
How Safe is Your World?
3 May 2001 | by (Phoenix, Arizona) – See 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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