The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their ... See full summary »
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their Rule and ending with their dispersal to preach. The unconnected chapters are like parables, some with a moral. The slight and comic Ginepro returns naked to St. Mary's of the Angels, having given away his tunic, but not his ricotta. The aged Giovanni shouts and holds onto his cape; the beatific St. Clair pays a visit. Humble Francis doubts his leadership, hugs a leper, and sends his brothers spinning, dizzy, and smiling into the world. This brotherhood is infused with whimsy as well as belief. Written by
Roberto Rossellini was one of a group of pioneering film makers of the neo-realist era. Rather than shooting on stage, they shot on locations and quite often used non professional actors. Most of the performers in the film, with exception of Aldo Fabrizi, are real Franciscian monks. See more »
The film is a series of vignettes depicting the monks in various encounters with each other and locals in the surrounding countryside. Each scene has a point, but the "lessons" are imparted with grace, subtlety and tranquil ease. Watching this film is a very calming, quiet experience. Other than the dialogue of the brothers (in Italian), what one hears most of the time in the soundtrack is the sound of chirping birds and falling water. Not a film that everyone will enjoy but if the idea of following humble, simple monks around the medieval countryside appeals to you at all, I recommend this DVD highly. Considering that this movie was released just five years after the end of WWII, perhaps it was an attempt to remind Italians and Europeans in general of this long-departed but timeless advocate of peace and non-violence.
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