The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester) (1950)
Critic Reviews for The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester)
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.
Rossellini's buoyant 1950 masterpiece is a glorious hallucination of perfect harmony between man and nature.
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.
Pious and earthy, crude and artful, filled with pithy religious lessons but devoid of moralizing.
Audience Reviews for The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester)
more vignettes from rossellini; i'd like to watch this again sometime as it may have suffered in comparison with buñuel's towering film. it's certainly lovely
There's more than one moment of humor here, as Rossellini takes the opposite approach to religious storytelling (rather than Hollywood's overblown, over pious pandering) showing ordinary men struggling to live as their faith instructs: simply, and with faith. Episodic and cheerful.
More of a visual book than a movie, this film discusses episodes in the life of St. Francis of Assisi by means of "chapters", each of which is subtitled by a description of what will happen in this section. It's a gentle film in many ways, following the priests as they live their rural lives -- cooking, ministering, gardening, and praying. There is a substory about one of Francis' followers who has more devotion to his calling than common sense, and there is some comedy (not to a mention a couple of scenes a little tough to watch) in his mistakes and misinterpretations of Francis' teachings. Since I'm not very religious, let alone Catholic, I probably didn't get as much out of it as someone more devout would have. But I still feel that Rossellini did a lovely job with this film.
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