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OPENING JANUARY 17
The most discreet of Holocaust dramas, Vittorio De Sica’s 1971 foreign-film Oscar-winner (in a newly restored print) opens in Ferrara in 1938. As the authorities begin to institute anti-Semitic laws, the wealthy Finzi-Continis withdraw into their extensive estate. The family’s residence also provides a haven for such less affluent Jews as Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio), a friend of Alberto Finzi-Contini (Helmut Berger) and a suitor of his sister Micol (Dominique Sanda). Indeed, earnest Giorgio’s unrequited love for imperious flirt Micol is at the center of the story, but the details of the campaign against the Jews gradually accumulate, to ultimately devastating effect. If some of its aspects (like the pastel cinematography) seem quaintly early-’70s, the film is still more sober than such contemporary romantic schlock as The English Patient. Far from maintaining that true love is more important than political upheavals, Giorgio notes that “at times like these, my broken heart is absurd.” At the Key Theater; see Showtimes for times. (Mark Jenkins)