Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Raoul Bova, Amélie Daure, Gianmarco Tognazzi, Claudio Gioè, Paolo Briguglia
Director: Michele Soavi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Raoul Bova (UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN) stars as Francesco Bernardone, the son of a cloth merchant in 12th Century Italy whose humility, piety and charitable works would see him canonized as the beloved St. Francis of Assisi, pa... more »
Very high quality, exciting, and inspirational film
Robert Stephenson-padron | Pamplona, Spain | 07/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is often difficult to find high quality religious films, but this is one. The action scenes are very good, the acting is extremely good, the visuals are amazing, the costumes are very good, and of course, the story is inspirational as it is the story of St. Francis. Plus, the audio actually matches the film, which is not always the case with religious films. All in all, this movie is very entertaining, whether or not you are a person of faith. This film is also good for history buffs, or anyone who likes period films. Read the USCCB's (which rated the film A-II) review for info on dramatic license used in the film."
A Valiant Effort, but it misses the mark.
The Bear | Ojai, Ca. USA | 01/02/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Michele Soavi enjoys international cult-status as the maker of avant-garde horror films, and as such, his fans will not be disappointed with "Saint Francis." The first half of this movie's cup overflows with sinister characters, protracted violence, on-camera torture, and endless journeys through frightening dwellings and landscapes.
That said, he made an admirable attempt to depict a "muscular" Christianity and present Francis's life without pastel colors. It had to be done and he did it. But, while this film is an artistically lush period piece and is conceptually intriguing, the realization is disappointing. The plot is somewhat muddled, the script doesn't justify its three and one-half hour length, and the characters are unremittingly stern---whereas, the hallmark of St. Francis was joy. (According to witnesses, he bore his year in prison "with cheerfulness and good temper." A better interpretation of the saint's troubadour-like personality is the father's character in the Italian film "Life is Beautiful.")
Additionally, Soavi's portrayal of Francis' relationship with the Catholic Church is slightly skewed and incomplete.
Saint Francis was a reformer, not a rebel.
In Soavi's interpretation, Saint Francis appears as a precursor to Luther; that is, Christianity should be "sola scriptura." Add to that '"sola" nature' and '"sola"poverty' and you have the plot of this film in a nutshell. The Franciscan ideal does contain the Gospels, nature, and poverty, but it contains much more; obedience being high on the list. Saint Francis' faith was never at odds with the faith of the Catholic Church.
Furthermore, belief that the Church did not allow men and women to read the Gospels in their native language is an erroneous belief, but it is widespread and one need not be anti-Catholic to hold it. This theme in the movie's plot is historically inaccurate. (What the Church guarded against were "Gospels" written in the vernacular that contained error. For those who are interested, Mario Derksen (Catholic Insight) in his essay, "Did the Catholic Church Try to Keep the Bible From the Laity?" uses modern and historical sources to argue that the Church was concerned with mis-translations, not translations.)
For many good reasons Michele Soavi's film will (or, will not) resonate with viewers, but for an accurate picture of Saint Francis and Saint Clare one would do well to get a good biography. (G.K.Chesterton's "Saint Francis of Assisi," is a start.)"
M. Allen | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen all the movies that are made about our beloved Saint, but this is the best. This was even better than "brother sun and sister moon". Well done. Except a few minor points, the story follows the life of Saint Francis. This is a must see, for those who love Francis."