The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 1.5

Tale of a calm before the World War II storm as Italian Jews, insulated from the rest of the country by highly symbolic gates and playing tennis in their highly symbolic garden, enjoy their remaining freedom before the authorities come and take them away. Wisely stays away from lewd depictions of Nazi cruelty and instead focuses on a mediocre and largely humdrum romantic interlude between a Finzi-Contini girl and a boy who have been infatuated with each other since they were children and, as adults, simultaneously run towards and away from each other. Helmut Berger dies rather suddenly in what is supposed to be a sad moment, but the picture devotes only a small amount of time to him. If you want to read a good book about the same topic, I strongly recommend any of Primo Levi's memoirs.