Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
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
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.
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The Finzi-Continis are a wealthy and privileged Italian family. It is shortly before WWII, a time when the Fascists are slowly taking away the rights and livelihoods of Jews, including the Finzi-Continis.
But none of this seems to pass the walls of their magnificent garden, where the children Micol and Alberto often invite their friends. One of their friends, Georgio, is hopelessly in love with the beautiful Micol. The way this film evokes such youthful, quixotic yearning, or a woman's growing awareness of physical beauty's power, is splendid.
The sadness I felt at the end came from knowing all along what would happen to all of them, rich and not-so-rich, and that they didn't recognize what lay in store for them until it was too late. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis was Vittorio De Sica's last hurrah, a masterpiece of neorealism, and timeless evocation of a time lost.
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