The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)
A Film from the Artur Brauner Collection at Our Library
The extensive garden of the Jewish upper middle-class Finzi-Contini family becomes a meeting place for young people to maintain their friendships and liaisons undisturbed and unfazed by Italian fascism in the late 1930s. The beginning of the Second World War shatters this idyll and in 1943 the family is deported.
The film was to create a "fresco of the Jewish tragedy in toto," as Giorgio Bassani, the author of the autobiographical novel on which the film was based, later wrote. Under the direction of Vittorio De Sica, the doyen of Italian neorealism, a melodrama was created that subtly hints at the breach of civilization. It won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1971 and a year later the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Starring Lino Capolicchio, Dominique Sanda and Helmut Berger. Directed by Vittorio De Sica.
Bassani, Giorgio. "Der verratene Garten" (The Betrayed Garden). In: Erinnerungen des Herzens (Memories of the Heart). Munich: Piper, 1991, 165–173.