THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS (Theatrical Release Italy 1970)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis encourages younger audiences to research and understand the political stance of Italy as well as the relationship between Italian leaders and Nazism during World War II. The movie is a slow burn drama with Italian language and English subtitles. It has been made for those who understand Jewish culture. Much meaning may be lost for those who are not familiar with customs and principles of that lifestyle. It presents a view of upper class living of both the bourgeoisie and merchant class levels and their intertwining in an extremely perceptive and thoughtful manner. It requires thinking and involvement as the movie moves along. Days after viewing, an audience may find minds returning to the story piecing together bits and pieces of the film into order. This movie has exceptionally graphic nudity presented at its conclusion that precludes a child’s watch. The film is made for the sophisticated, adult audience. It becomes one of those ‘need to view’ movies due to its unique ability to expand cultural dimensions. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 


Upper class Italian Jews face the rise of Italian Fascism. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Vittorio De Sica for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Arthur Cohn, Gianni Hecht Lucari, and Artur Brauner for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio), Micol (Dominique Sanda), Alberto Finzi-Contini (Helmut Berger), Giampiero Malnate (Fabio Testi), Beniamino (Romolo Valli), Ermanno Finzi-Contini (Camillo Cesarei), Olga Finzi-Contini (Katini Morisani), Regina Finzi-Contini (Inna Alexeievna), Giorgio’s mother (Barbara Pilavin), Perotti (Ettore Geri), Ernesto (Raffaele Curi), Bruno (Giampaolo Duregon), and Fanny (Marcella Gentile). 

Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie is very well put together for a niche market and may need a second watch to catch all the nuances that are tucked into its storyline. It, unfortunately, has nudity and sexual references toward the end of the film, but overall is a worthwhile watch. It presents itself in spoken Italian, French and some English with easy-to-read English subtitles. It is a better home watch than theater watch so that the film can be stopped and rewound to catch the significance of certain scenes.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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