The Flowers of St. Francis
dir. Roberto Rossellini, Italy, 1950, 35mm, b/w, Italian with English subtitles, 87 min.
In a series of simple and joyous vignettes, director Roberto Rossellini and co-writer Federico Fellini lovingly convey the universal teachings of the People’s Saint: humility, compassion, faith, and sacrifice. Gorgeously photographed to evoke the medieval paintings of Saint Francis’s time, and cast with monks from the Nocera Inferiore Monastery, The Flowers of St. Francis is a timeless and moving portrait of the search for spiritual enlightenment.
Introduced by Professor Stefania Benini
Stefania Benini was Lauro De Bosis Fellow at Harvard University (2014-2015), after having been Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Pennsylvania (2007-2014). Her research focus in Italian Studies involves the sacred, from literature to cinema and theatre. Other topics of interests include Italian women’s writing and cinema. Her volume Pasolini: the Sacred Flesh is forthcoming for Toronto University Press (2015).
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.