Rent The Garden of the Finzi Contini (1970)

3.7 of 5 from 103 ratings
1h 30min
Rent The Garden of the Finzi Contini (aka Il giardino dei Finzi Contini / The Garden of the Finzi-Continis) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Set at the outbreak of War, De Sica's film tells the story of the Finzi Contini, an aristocratic Jewish family protected by the walls of their idyllic estate. Whilst outside Mussolini bans Jews from tennis courts, the Finzi Contini are not worried as they rally on their own, living in their dreamland. Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio) is the middle-class Jew in love with his childhood friend, Micol (Dominique Sanda) of the Finzi Contini family, but she is in love with a gentile and wanting of experiences outlawed by the new government.
With Giorgio's separation of Micol, De Sica tracks the loss of an idyllic way of life, from the tennis courts to the waiting rooms where Jews await transportation to the concentration camps.
, , , , , Camillo Cesarei, , Katina Morisani, , , , Raffaele Curi, Gianpaolo Duregon, Marcella Gentile, , , , Enzo Nigro, Eugene Pomeroy,
Artur Brauner, Arthur Cohn, Gianni Hecht Lucari
Giorgio Bassani, Vittorio Bonicelli, Ugo Pirro, Vittorio De Sica, Franco Brusati, Alain Katz, Tullio Pinelli, Cesare Zavattini, Valerio Zurlini
Ugo Pirro, Ennio Guarnieri
Il giardino dei Finzi Contini / The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Arrow Films
Classics, Drama, Romance
Oscars: Winners & Losers, Top 10 Golden Bear Winners, Top 10 Tennis Films, What We Were Watching in 1971

1973 BAFTA Best United Nations Film

1972 Oscar Best Foreign Film

1971 Berlinale Golden Bear

Release Date:
Run Time:
90 minutes
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Interview with Star Lino Capolicchio
  • Interview with Screenwriter Ugo Pirro
  • Interview with Composer Manuel De Sica
  • Original Trailer

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Reviews (3) of The Garden of the Finzi Contini

Hard Times in pre war Italy. - The Garden of the Finzi Contini review by Cato

Spoiler Alert

A moving story of unrequited love, in which two rich Jewish families find themselves on the brink of very hard times in Mussolini's Italy. A rather beautiful film in which love seems fated from the very beginning. I watched it twice.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

A tale of love and fate in Fascist Italy, in the 1930s and 1940s - The Garden of the Finzi Contini review by Philip in Paradiso

Spoiler Alert

In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, a group of young friends get together for afternoons of tennis and flirting. Some of them are Italian Jews: Fascism is imposing increasing restrictions on their lives. The film ends in 1943, when the situation of Italian Jews had deteriorated immensely and the destruction of the Jewish community loomed very large.

It is the tale of 2 families -- one of them reasonably well-off, and the other very rich. The garden in the title belongs to the house of the immensely rich family, the Finzi Continis. It is also a love story, which is set against the tragic backdrop of the war and the Fascist regime in Italy. But, for much of the film, the love story in question, in all its complexities, twists and turns, is actually centre-stage, as if it mattered more than the bigger picture.

The film is beautiful and melancholy. There is no doubt that it is a very good film and 'a classic'. However, I also found the action quite slow and the plot somewhat predictable: in actual fact, not a lot happens in the course of the 90 mins that the film lasts. So, I would recommend it, but not without some slight reservations.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Lush cinematography in a tale of doomed aristocratic Jewish family - The Garden of the Finzi Contini review by JO

Spoiler Alert

Beautifully shot drama with a dreamy, ethereal quality depicting the insular world in which the aristocratic Finzi Cortinis lived while the world outside their paradisal garden became engulfed in Fascism. The film focuses on two Jewish families in Ferrara, Italy during the years 1938-43: one is affluent and aristocratic, the other of more humble origins.

Although the handsome Giorgio loves Micol, a Finzi Cortini, his love is unrequited due to the social class divide. When racial laws are instigated, Giorgio's family and most Jews lose their rights; however, the Finzi Cortinis ignore the political situation, figuring that they are secure because of their wealth and social prominence. De Sica makes the point that the Finzi Cortinis, like all land owning Italian Jews of the time, defined themselves more by social rank than by their religion. But in the end, all Jews (Giorgio's and Micol's family) were doomed.

Film is deliberately slow paced and the early scenes of the Finzi Cortinis garden party are ravishing in dreamy soft focus photography. The romantic early scenes are starkly contrasted by the deportation scenes towards the film's ending. Deservedly winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film for that year.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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