Paola, a Milan call girl, returns home to her village in an attempt to go straight. Rejected by her father, blackmailed by a former lover, and lusted after by her brother-in-law, she turns to her beloved sister for support.
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their Rule and ending with their dispersal to preach. The unconnected chapters are like parables, some with a moral. The slight and comic Ginepro returns naked to St. Mary's of the Angels, having given away his tunic, but not his ricotta. The aged Giovanni shouts and holds onto his cape; the beatific St. Clair pays a visit. Humble Francis doubts his leadership, hugs a leper, and sends his brothers spinning, dizzy, and smiling into the world. This brotherhood is infused with whimsy as well as belief.Written by
Unfortunately, this is not an easy film to see. It is not available on video, and it is rarely if ever shown in commercial theaters, not even art houses. I was fortunate enough to see it at a local museum's Italian film series.
This film is exquisitely photographed and beautifully acted, mostly by non-professionals. It's depiction of Francis and his followers make the practice of Christianity seem almost zenlike; that is spirituality consists in being totally involved in whatever one is doing at the moment, in doing, not talking. This is such a relief from much of the pap that passes as religious film these days. See it if you can.
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