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The Flowers of St. Francis

1950 [ITALIAN]

Biography / Comedy / Drama / History

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
797.84 MB
Italian 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 5 / 29
1.45 GB
Italian 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S 5 / 36

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zetes10 / 10


An odd little film, but so exhilarating that I don't think the experience will ever leave me. I can't even really say why it pleased me so much, but it's the kind of film that just makes you appreciate the beauty of the world around you. It's so gentle and miraculous. The film follows the simple life of Francis of Assisi and the friars who followed him. Born the son of a rich merchant, he practiced poverty to honor Christ. We see vignettes as they were described in the titular hagiography (no doubt adapted freely by the screenwriters, among whom was Federico Fellini). They are often beautiful and touching, but more often than not they have a tinge of comedy. In fact, you can really see Fellini's talent starting to emerge here. The style is very reminiscent of his early work. Within Rossellini's career, it eclipses probably all of his other films, many of which are admittedly fantastic (I think Stromboli, which was released near the same time, is a close second best). There's just a beauty in it. I am not Catholic and know nothing of St. Francis of Assisi, so I don't know if I'm missing anything. But to me it felt like a true celebration of humanity.

Reviewed by howard.schumann8 / 10

Promotes compassion for the poor

The Criterion DVD release of Rossellini's Flowers of St. Francis offers a fully restored version in high contrast black and white of the long unavailable 1950 film, considered one of Rossellini's finest. It is interesting that two of the finest films about religion, The Gospel According to St, Matthew and Flowers of St. Francis, were directed by avowed atheists, (Pier Paolo Pasolini and Roberto Rossellini),both capturing, through non-professional acting and neo-realist technique, a sense of purity and poetry missing in the heavy-handed message of newer religious films. Unlike Pasolini, however, Rossellini's film does not contain peak dramatic moments or even a linear narrative.

It is a series of vignettes that does not attempt a history of the period or a biography of St. Francis of Assisi as did the woeful Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Zefferelli. Rather it shows Francis, a 13th century monk who founded the order known as the Franciscan Friars and his followers (particularly brother Ginepro) in easy going and often light-hearted fashion going about their daily life with devotion and humility before God. While I do not subscribe to the idea that allegiance to God requires extreme self-denial, the film is persuasive in showing the simple compassion of the Friars and how it changed the lives of the people around them, although the line between simple and simple-minded as depicted by Rossellini is often tenuous.

Flowers does not attempt to bludgeon us with a point of view, but suggests by example that there is an alternative way to live our lives that does not involve ego and greed. The episodes illustrate different aspects of Franciscan life, all introduced by intertitles. In the first, the brothers seek to find shelter in a pouring rain in a little hut they have built in the woods near Assisi. When they arrive, they discover that a farmer has appropriated the hut with his donkey and refuses to let the brothers in. Francis responds by telling his followers, "Have we not now reason to rejoice? Providence has made us useful to others." In another episodes, Ginepro cuts off a pig's foot for a meal requested by a hungry ailing brother. Unfortunately, no one questions what brother pig thinks about his leg being sacrificed and the episode left me feeling queasy.

In other sequences, the Friars prepare a rebuilt chapel to receive Sister Chiara, Francis meets a leper during his walk and embraces him in a childlike, loving manner, and Ginepro is provided lessons on how actions rather than words win souls for God. In one of the later sequences played mostly for laughs but with a potent message, Ginepro is in danger of losing his life to a group of bandits led by the corpulent Nicolaio until the power of faith rules the day. Flowers of St. Francis presents an idealized version of a "pure" form of Christianity and promotes love, humility, and compassion for the poor. While the film is a welcome antidote to the cynicism and despair common in films these days, ultimately it leaves the viewer to decide whether or not excessive missionary zeal practiced by those who are convinced they alone have the true faith has been a positive or negative force throughout history.

Reviewed by ma-cortes7 / 10

Religious movie about St Francis proceed in simplicity and realism

This is an enjoyable adaptation about Saint Francis (1182-1226) by Roberto Rosselini. Set in 13th century and depicting various episodes about his existence , these are the followings : 1) How Fray Junipero appears naked after give out his soutane to a poor 2 )How the old John abandons his family , follows and imitates St. Francis 3)Concerning the marvelous encounter between St Clare and St Francis 4)How Fray Junipero cut a pig's foot and gave it a sick person 5)How St Francis found a leper into the night 6) How Fray Junipero was condemned to death but his humility vanquished tyrant Nicolas (Aldo Fabrizi) 7) How St Francis and Father Lion experimented the perfect mirth 8) How St Francis came out from St. Mary of Angels to evangelize for around the world .

The motion picture is an agreeable portrayal on known Saint well played by Pino Locci and secondary intervention by Aldo Fabrizi as an armored villain in the best chapter . The roles of St. Francis and his disciples were played by monks from the Nocere Inferiore monastery . 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 . "The Flowers of St. Francis" was edited for its 1952 US release, with Rossellini's chapter-like inter titles and a couple of scenes removed from the original Italian version . Evocative black and white cinematography by Otello Martelli and atmospheric musical score by Renzo Rosselini. Interesting screenplay by Rosselini , Brunello Rondi and participated the prestigious Federico Fellini . The picture is original and imaginatively directed by Roberto Rosselini who was one of a group of pioneering film makers of the neo-realist era . An excellent film-making for sympathy , simple way and brief touches of humor.

The film retrieves partially deeds about his life . The real events are the followings : Francis was son of a wealthy merchant , but he leaves his lush existence and he dedicates to help unfortunates , hapless and poor people . He suffers starvation , famine, and is taken prisoner during war among Italian cities , Perugia , Venice and Assis . Francis founds the Franciscan Order of monks , approved by Pope Innocence III (1210) and receiving his blessing . He's followed by St Clare as devote disciple , founding the Clarisan order of nuns (1212) . Francesco imposes a rigid rules of life and his thoughts were included in ¨Singing to brother sun or the Creatures¨ where he praises the poverty , joy and nature love and ¨The flowers of St. Francis¨ .

Other versions about the most famous Saint are : Hollywood version titled ¨Francis of Assisi¨ (60) by Michael Curtiz with Stuart Withman and Dolores Hart ; two rendition by Liliana Cavani , starred by Lou Castel and ¨Francesco¨ (1989) with Mickey Rourke and Helena Bonham Carter . And Franco Zeffireli version (1973) titled ¨Brother sun, Brither moon¨ with Alec Guinness, Judi Bowker and William Faulkner.

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