The Garden of the Finzi-Continis | 1996
The story of an aristocratic Jewish family in Ferrara, Italy, in the years 1938-1943, and a way of life now lost forever. The enormous gardens of the Finzi-Contini estate surround the family both literally and metaphorically, and seemingly insulate them from the virulent spread of anti-Semitism in Mussolini's Fascist regime. As Jews are progressively banned from schools, libraries and public places, the Finzi-Continis open their gates to the friends of their children, Micol and Alberto. Giorgio, a frequent visitor, is a middle-class Jewish student who has been hopelessly in love with Micol since childhood. But Micol rejects him and in casual defiance of the "racial laws," begins a physical relationship with Malnate, a brash young Communist, and the only non-Jew in her circle. The group of friends spend languid afternoons playing tennis and romantic games, but beyond the walls of the estate, the Fascists hold menacing parades, and begin rounding up Jews for deportation.