Written and Directed by Rä Di Martino
From a Subject by Noa Karavan Cohen
A Co-Production Alto Piano Studio + Les Films Du Poisson Arte
Produced by Matteo Frittelli, Agostino Osio and Estelle Fialon

Il giardino che non c’è wants to explore and recount the story and world described in Giorgio Bassani’s novel, delving into the many intertwining stories and links between the author’s life, historical events, and the characters and facts described in the book. Also, by making it resonate with the imaginations of readers from yesterday and today, for whom the fictional space of the garden becomes so real that it could actually exist.

Finzi-Continis’ garden never existed. However, it became a pilgrimage site and a refuge in Giorgio Bassani’s novel, which follows the rise of fascism in Italy and the disappearance of the Finzi-Contini, a Jewish family from Ferrara. Reality, fiction, the documentary’s interaction with history, the novel and its characters.
Il giardino che non c’è is inspired by an idea: how much can a work of art influence our way of seeing the world? What are the ramifications of this? How does something created by a writer, director, or artist become real in the collective imagination? Where lies the line between fiction and reality?

Our film want to investigate these themes starting from Giorgio Bassani’s masterpiece, Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini, to discover how it influenced our way of imagining a city, Ferrara, a dramatic historical period, a family, and a garden. Surprisingly, the film industry honored De Sica’s transformation with an Oscar, putting even more emphasis on an already well-known story. Hundreds of Micòl were born, students found excerpts from the book in their anthologies and discussed them, and people still come to Ferrara from all over the world to look for The Garden that doesn’t exist.
Can art provide the refuge we seek?


Rä di Martino Portrait


Rä di Martino (Rome, 1975) is a visual artist and film-maker. She studied in London where she graduated with an MFA at the Slade School of Art and after spending a few years in New York she moved back to Italy. Her practice explores the passage of time, as well as the discrepancies that differentiate epic narratives from lived experiences.

Noa Karavan Cohen


Noa Karavan Cohen initiates, curates, produces and directs cultural projects, artistic exhibitions and documentary films, in Israel, Europe and Japan. She has collaborated with the European Commission, the Louvre Museum, UNESCO, DOCOMOMO, Beaux Arts, Forecast Public Art, and the Arts Arena, different TV channels and museums around the world.