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
The screenplay takes its inspiration from the 14th Century legends "Fioretti di San Francesco" and "La Vita di Frate Ginepro". See more »
Praise be to you, O Lord, and to all your creatures. Especially Brother Sun, through when you light our days. He is beautiful and radiant and resplendent, and derives all meaning from you. Praise be to you, O Lord, for Sister Moon and all the stars, which you cause to shine clear and bright. Praise be to you, O Lord, for Brother Wind, and for cloudy and clear skies, and all kinds of weather, which being sustenance to all your creatures. Praise be to you, O Lord, for Sister Water, so useful and ...
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The US version released in 1952 removes the Italian chapter titles. It also adds a prologue cut from the initial Italian release. See more »
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.
Rossellini had a strong interest in Christian values in the contemporary world. Though he was not a practicing Catholic, Rossellini loved the Church's ethical teaching, and was enchanted by religious sentiment —- things which he felt were neglected in the materialistic world. I can appreciate this. While I am also not a practicing Catholic, I was raised in the tradition and love the rich history of the Church. Though the tenets are not for me, the values are universal and it is interesting to see how they have been carried out, in this case by creating an entire Order of priests.
The look of this film is beautiful, the black and white as stark and striking as the best Scandinavian films. In the era of the neo-realist Italian film, this really has the perfected look, and can be enjoyed both for its great storytelling and just its glorious imagery.
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