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Italy / Germany, 1970 (MIFF 1972)

Director: Vittorio De Sica

De Sica's film is a faithful, yet fully cinematic transfer to the screen of Giorgio Bassani's semi-autobio-graphical novel of the same title.

The Finzi-Continis, a wealthy, aristocratic Jewish family, lead a secluded life on their splendid estate in the northern Italian town of Ferrara. It is 1938, and they vainly hone that the vulgarities of fascism will not touch their ivory existence.

The head of a bourgeois Jewish family co-operates with the Fascists, hoping that the racial laws will not be applied to "good" Jews. His son. Giorgio, falls in love with Micol, Finzi-Contini's daughter, and the story of the two families, and by extension the fate of all Jews under the Nazis, is told in terms of the ebb and flow of the relationship of the two young people.

The story ends in 1943, with the rounding up of Jewish families in Ferrara, for deportation to German death camps.

See also...

Durian durian

Hong Kong, 1999
"[Durian Durian] follows the path of a young woman, Yan, as she struggles in a dirty precinct of Hong Kong, and her reimmersion into family life after she abandons the world of prostitution in the ci… More »


Italy, 1952
With this film it would seem that the so-called ‘neo realist' movement in Italian film production reached its zenith. Political influence and the growing concern of the Italian film industry with m… More »


Italy, 1951
De Sica has described his film as “a fable for children - especially of the grown-up variety - a comedy with an undercurrent of tragedy”. The title he originally wanted was The Poor are Disturbin… More »


Italy, 1943
The Children Are Watching Us was de Sica's first serious attempt at realism. ... An adaptation of a novel by Cesare Giulio Viola, the literary and elaborate ... script provides a vivid illustration o… More »

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