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The life of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) as related by followers who gather after his death to tell stories so that Leone can record them: a privileged and virile youth, a prisoner of war, an heir who turns away from his father and gives all to the poor, a beggar for others, and an inspiration to friends who accept the Gospels' life of poverty. He seeks the Pope's blessing, and he endures persecution at the hands of the family of Chiara Offreduccio (1194-1253), who becomes St. Clare. Many join the order he has established and then rebel at his expectations. In near despair - and ill - he writes a Rule to take to the Pope; then, the Lord sends him a message. He dies smiling. Written by
...or one of them. This is - so far- the best portrayal of Saint Francis of Assisi I have ever seen. I was surprised. I actually cried. But Rourke knows how to move ya believe it or not. Fantastic acting and scenery. The feel is right and the story is based more on basic facts than the usual overly-dramatic, semi-fictional scripts that we see too often from Hollywood produced "bios". This film was shot in Italy and you get a real sense of our dear Saint here. Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of Saint Clare of Assisi is wonderful. She truly brings Clare to life here - or gives you a sense of realism and passion and true friendship. Unlike the 60's "version" and others - this is the one to see if you want to understand the basics of Francis. I also suggest reading the "Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi" and "The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi" - the latter book written by Saint Bonaventure.
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