Brother Sun, Sister Moon
An ideal film to see perhaps, in the week in which we have a new Pope called Francis, this is a gentle film about one of the great Saints of the Catholic Church. The film focuses on the early life of Saint Francis of Assisi, it is set in the Thirteenth Century, Francis, the son of a wealthy merchant returns from a war, weary and disillusioned.
In a delirium with fever, his mind goes back to the days when pleasure was all he sought, memories come flooding back of days and nights when all he wanted was the pleasures of the flesh. But, the shadow of the Cross that he sees in the fever that rages in his body, finally brings an end to his old way of life, slowly his strength begins to return, but, inside he is a changed man.
No longer is he the Francesco of the wild days, he begins to see the beauty in the life all around him and in the little creatures of the woods and fields, one day he comes across a ruined little Church, and there in front of the old Cross his life changes forever. He renounces his rich legacies and starts to rebuild the Church as Il Poverello, the poorest of the poor, his humble way of life draws to him many followers who want to follow in his footsteps.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon may not be a totally accurate portrayal of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, but as made by the great Italian director, Franco Zeffirelli, it is a very moving film with a good performance from Graham Faulkner as Francis, outstanding as a beautiful young girl who sheds her materialistic existence for a life of poverty is young Judi Bowker.
The film has a very simple elegance that suits both the period that it is set in and its subject. Look out for Alec Guinness as Pope Innocent, a little cameo that this talented actor makes the most of.