Brother Sun, Sister Moon
dir. Franco Zeffirelli, Italy/UK , 1972, 35mm, color, Italian w/ English subtitles, 121 mins.
Director Franco Zeffirelli's Brother Sun, Sister Moon focuses on the early years of Francis of Assisi, who sought communion with the natural world by renouncing his family's riches to seek his own destiny unencumbered by material possessions, Francis was, in a sense, history's first "drop-out": he left a life of comfort to seek a spiritual union with the world. Brother Sun, Sister Moon is an uncommonly rewarding and meaningful film experience. This Academy Award nominated film was also co-scripted by Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre) and Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties, Swept Away).
The St. Nicholas of Tolentine Centennial Celebration
and produced by Leonard Guercio and Peter Spina, USA, 2012, digital, 10mins.
1912, St. Nicholas of Tolentine Roman Catholic Church was founded to serve the
growing number of Italian immigrants and their families in South Philadelphia. In
2012, this video was made to commemorate the church's 100th anniversary of
providing spiritual, educational, and material guidance to the community.
Introduced by Leonard Guercio, Temple University
Leonard Guercio is the Manager of the Digital Cinema Lab in
the TFMA Division of the Center for the Arts at Temple University. In the past,
he has worked as a 70mm film projectionist at the Franklin Institute, as a TV
Master Control operator, and as a TV Producer and Director. As an adjunct
professor, Guercio has taught editing in Temple’s Film & Media Arts Department.
He has worked also a contributing writer for Student Filmmakers magazine, a
national periodical that addresses the ongoing changes in the world of film and
His short fiction film, Tiramisù, opened the 2007 Pesaro International Film Festival in Italy. Along with the films of John Turturro, Steve Buscemi, and Nancy Savoca, Tiramisù was selected as part of an international retrospective of New Italian-American Cinema.
In 2008, Guercio produced a music CD entitled Here’s To Life, featuring Billy Ruth, a local singer showcasing songs from the Great American Songbook. In 2012, he co-wrote and produced the documentary video, The St. Nicholas of Tolentine Centennial Celebration, honoring the 100 years of service this neighborhood Catholic church has provided to its community.
In 2013, Guercio was invited to present a selection of his
works in Villanova University’s annual Distinguished Speaker series. As a
public speaker, he hosts film screenings in such venues as the America-Italy
Society of Philadelphia, Films at International House of Philadelphia, and Talk
Cinema at the Ritz and Bryn Mawr theaters.
In celebration of the visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, IHP presents a pair of films on the life of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. "Behold, Francesco" the IHP series, will begin with Roberto Rossellini's 1950 classic film The Flowers of St. Francis (Francesco, Giullare di Dio). Based on two books, the 14th-century Little Flowers of St. Francis (Fioretti Di San Francesco) and The Life of Brother Juniper(La Vita di Frate Ginepro), which relate the life and work of St. Francis and the early Franciscans. The second film in the series will be Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna) a 1972 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli depicting the early life and conversion of Francesco Pietro Bernardone, over time to become St.Francis. Both films will be screened from 35mm prints. IHP would like to thank Janus films, Paramount Pictures, Lowell Peterson, ASC and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Film Archive for the use of their materials.