Also known as
Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini
Italy [1970] - 94m
War, Romance
Directed by
Vittorio De Sica
More info on
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis poster


November 15, 2021


Italian melodrama, that starts off as a teen romance and evolves into a dreary war drama. In the background we see the rise of fascism, ignored by a wealthy Jewish family who retreats to their private domain. De Sica bets on quite a few horses, but the result is a bit of a jumbled mess.

The Finzi-Contini family is dead rich. When the Jews in a nearby village are banned from the local tennis club, they open up part of their estate to accommodate the victims. That's how Giorgio meets Micòl, the daughter of the Finzi-Continis. The two develop feelings for each other, but their different social standings make their relationship impossible.

The film appears a little cheesy, with soft-focus visuals, idyllic colors and a wannabe romantic score. It's all a bit much, so I never ended up caring for the two leads, nor their predicament. The contrast with the background of the story also doesn't work well, the fascist threat comes off forced, and the darker second half fails to make an impression. Not great.

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