“The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” released in 1970, is a classic film about an Italian-Jewish family at the onset of World War II. Directed by Vittorio De Sica and based on the historical novel by Giorgio Bassani, the motion picture won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

A half century after its release and Oscar win, the Museum hosted a special discussion about “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” featuring:

  • Ricky Ian Gordon, composer of the operatic adaptation of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis;
  • Portia Prebys, longtime companion of Giorgio Bassani;
  • Jacqueline Reich, Italian cinema expert and Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University;
  • Francesco Pitassio, Professor of Film Studies at the Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage of the University of Udine in Italy; and
  • Stanislao Pugliese, Professor of Modern European History and the Queensboro UNICO Distinguished Professor of Italian and Italian-American Studies at Hofstra University.

Watch the discussion below.