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      Francis, God's Fool

      1950 1h 33m Drama List
      100% Tomatometer 19 Reviews 83% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings The life of Saint Francis of Assisi (Aldo Fabrizi) is loosely chronicled in this film, divided into nine chapters that highlight different elements of the saint's teachings, from compassion to humility. Director Roberto Rossellini's film, which conveys the joy Saint Francis found in seeking out enlightenment, opens with an introduction to the saint's followers, the Franciscans, and closes with the holy friar leaving Rome to spread his views to the world. Read More Read Less Watch on Max Stream Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (19) Critics Reviews
      Richard Brody New Yorker Rossellini depicts these brazen geniuses of humility with an expressive simplicity akin to Giotto's; his nonjudgmental clarity reflects both the way they lived and his sense of wonder that anyone could ever have done so. May 17, 2021 Full Review John Anderson America Magazine ...we, as Rossellini intended, are humbled. May 1, 2020 Full Review Bosley Crowther New York Times Thanks to the simplicity of its filming and the sympathetic musical score Renzo Rossellini has affixed, it sends one forth from the theatre feling kindlier towards his fellow man. Rated: 3.5/5 Mar 25, 2006 Full Review Eve Tushnet Patheos Delightfully ramshackle... ull of humor and unexpected incident... Oct 22, 2018 Full Review Brian Gibson Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) Austerely glorious; what's seen confronts what's felt. 63 years on, Rossellini's vision of St Francis offers a humble Catholicism at stark odds with the reality of the Church's ruling elite today. May 6, 2013 Full Review Jay Antani Cinema Writer one of the cinema's loveliest spiritual explorations Rated: 3.5/4 Aug 24, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (80) audience reviews
      S R Vatican 100 years list. It was an interesting movie that still is good, but it doesn't really make sense in the whole narrative. It's more a bunch of stories that mostly focus on the odd duck of the group for humor. It was on HBO. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 09/13/23 Full Review andrey k A surprising version of the story of St Francis from Rossellini, it works on all levels. Its heartfelt humor is not to be taken as a comedic humor, it's the humor of people who are truly blessed and joyful, filled with the love for Jesus. You can tell how Rossellini must have felt for these men, so genuine and sincere is the showcasing of their endeavors on spreading peace to people of the earth. The story is shown through 10 episodes from the life of St Francis, each offering some lesson to learn in an amusing manner. The absolute absence of hatred and evil in the movie is really warming. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Bob E Shockingly beautiful, will draw you into the innocence and humility of the friars. One of film's greatest hagiographies. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/18/17 Full Review Audience Member In cinema history there are two films that lend a simple beauty and grace to spiritually complex subject matter. They are Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" and Roberto Rossellini's "The Flowers of St. Francis". This is a film that dares to approach the subject of enlightenment and application of faith with minimalism and purity. The film isn't romantic or colamitous in any way, which isn't all that abnormal in a film except this film isn't aiming for that. It isn't some kind of pretentious goal of the filmmaker, but rather a side effect of honest storytelling, and that's what "The Flowers of St. Francis" is on a fundamental level: honest. Whether you're a believer or a heathen, if you walk away from this movie without feeling some semblance of joy and hope than you're either daft or dead. This is a masterpiece about harmony and love for one's fellow man while serving and admonishing God. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Rossellini's religious proclamation of saintliness faced difficulties in its distribution abroad and a butchered U.S. version, which cut two reels out of the movie based on the U.S. religious standards, a shocking proof of their simple-mindedness. Nevertheless, unlike a good number of U.S. films treating religion as the central topic, the unbiased testaments of Europe, especially Italy and France, felt more authentic, realistic, heartfelt... More human. The hardships in spreading God's word, hunger, rejection, faith during tumultuous times, our <b>failure</b> on certain tasks... That's what defines a human, and not complete saintliness or perfection which can only be achieved during eternal life when we are finally by God's side, and not during our earthly circumstances. Rossellini, following an episodic structure perhaps trying to mirror the lessons tought by Jesus Christ in the Gospels, treats the characters as disciples and divides the whole story, although chronologically, as individually told parables, each one containing a lesson, which could be interpreted, as follows: I. Rejection in His name. II. Clothes for the naked. III. Following the example of our greater brothers in faith. IV. Personal encounters with our brothers/sisters in faith. V. Feed the hungry, and God's generosity shall multiply in your life. VI. Feeling the pain of those in disgrace and our impotency to free them from their pain. VII. For it is better to preach with examples than with words. VIII. Nobility's conquer over ferocity. IX. Conquering oneself and enduring pain in His name is perfect happiness. X. <i>He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." - Mark 16:15</i> This review is as unbiased as the film attempts to be depicting the lives of these striving souls, who think they are following the correct path, but they are not, given that they execute their deeds expecting something in return, and hold the idea that God will reward them based on deeds, when the Bible says otherwise. As a Christian and son of God, this kind of life is incorrect, and the philosophy of life of this people is a deviation from what God intended for the life of men, but it is virtually impossible to resist the almost neorealist poetry that films like <i>Francesco, Giullare di Dio</i> or <i>Journal d'un Curé de Campagne</i> (1951) hold, being the celluloid contributions with a gigantic heart that they are, which have the power of reflecting the condition of any viewer regardless of his/her beliefs. Francesco, the jester of God, the mini-Christ of his own flock of disciples... 86/100 Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Utterly fascinating and unique film about the life of Saint Francis and his disciples. It is told in episodic short vignettes that how Francis and his disciples relate to each other, to the world and to God. His disciples sometimes behaved like children who are too eager to please never knowing when to say no to anyone in need. Saint Francis is also seen crying as he contemplates the passion of the Christ and his purpose on earth. He seems to have all the answers but never misses an opportunity to humble himself, and his role and that of his followers were played by non-actors, by real life monks from the nearby monastery, because director Rossellini was wise enough to realize only they could show such innocence, humility and passion. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis The life of Saint Francis of Assisi (Aldo Fabrizi) is loosely chronicled in this film, divided into nine chapters that highlight different elements of the saint's teachings, from compassion to humility. Director Roberto Rossellini's film, which conveys the joy Saint Francis found in seeking out enlightenment, opens with an introduction to the saint's followers, the Franciscans, and closes with the holy friar leaving Rome to spread his views to the world.
      Director
      Roberto Rossellini
      Screenwriter
      Roberto Rossellini
      Production Co
      Cineriz, Rizzoli Film
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      Italian
      Release Date (DVD)
      Aug 23, 2005
      Runtime
      1h 33m
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