No. 84: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
Keeping the weeds at bay
1970, dir. Vittorio De Sica. The protagonists of Vittorio De Sica’s Academy Award-winning film are members of an aristocratic Italian Jewish family who play tennis and enjoy life at their luxurious estate while the Fascists are preparing to rid their country of Jews. Their obliviousness to politics is both maddening and touching, and their bickering and love affairs rendered all the more brittle considering the imminent danger. The film ends with a kaddish, not only for the Finzi-Continis, but also for their life of gentle cultivation, forever lost.