Vittorio De Sica’s Oscar-winning ‘The Garden of the Finzi-Continis’, about Italian Jews under the Fascists, turns 50 this year

Posted on October 4, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/vittorio-de-sicas-oscar-winning-the-garden-of-the-finzi-continis-about-italian-jews-under-the-fascists-turns-50-this-year-8862831.html

If the Fascists have drawn a line between Jews and Aryans, the wealthy Finzi-Continis have similarly “discriminated” themselves from the world beyond their estate walls.

It’s the late 1930s. It’s the city of Ferrara in northern Italy. The Fascist government of Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) is applying “racial laws” against Italian Jews. But you wouldn’t know this by looking at the four people we see at the beginning of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. They’re dressed in white. They’re zipping down the street on cycles, carrying tennis racquets. When they reach their destination, there are other youngsters in white. They’re all waiting for the gates to open, so they can enter the Finzi-Contini “kingdom”, as one of them calls it.

It’s a huge estate bounded by huge walls, and it belongs to the hugely wealthy Finzi-Continis, who are Jewish. If the Fascists have drawn a line between Jews and Aryans, the Finzi-Continis have similarly “discriminated” themselves from the world beyond those walls — to the extent that they seem to have shaped their own version of reality.

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