Spiritually Significant Film

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The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)

aka Francesco, giullare di Dio

Capsule Review by Matt Page

Roberto Rossellini's straightforward look at Saint Francis and his early followers somehow manages to capture their spirituality without resorting to kitsch piety. Instead it strips away any kind of holy aura from the characters to portray them with simplistic joy and devotion. Commentators often note how in letting the ensemble laugh, Rossellini does what few other films about saints had dared to do. He takes things a step further by showing their passion ran in parallel to their occasional naivete, and in so doing captures what life might look like if people truly lived as fools for Christ.

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Directed by Roberto Rossellini
75 minutes
Primary language(s): Italian