The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,249
User image

Movie Info

Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini wrote this charming, fanciful account of the life of St. Francis of Assisi.


Critic Reviews for The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester)

  • Jun 10, 2014
    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
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2013
    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
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2013
    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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2010
    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.
    Cindy I Super Reviewer

The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester) Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features