BD Film: Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Set in northern Italy's Ferrara community at the outbreak of World War II, this classic film by Vittorio De Sica concerns an old, aristocratic Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis, who maintain their isolated, idyllic ways within the stone walls of their lush estate while Mussolini imprisons Jews outside. The story's central figure, young Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio), is a middle-class Jew who has always found perfect sanctuary within the Finzi-Continis' walls and who is in love with his childhood friend from that family, Micol (Dominique Sanda). Micol, however, is sexually restless and fit to burst for want of experiences impossible under government oppression. As Giorgio suffers his estrangement from her, De Sica traces the disintegration of a lost and beautiful way of life, slowly turning his focus from the privileged refuge of tennis courts and private libraries to police barriers and rooms where Jews await transport to concentration camps. This powerful work of memory tragically captures a loss of innocence on both the most personal and historical stages.