What You Need To Know:
(C, B, V, S, NN) Christian worldview replete with biblical morality; several beatings, body upside down & bloody; implied fornication; and, full male nudity & nude male bodies in mass grave, but no genitals shown.
FRANCESCO, a movie about the life of St. Francis released on video by Hemdale Home Video, focuses on his early debauchery as the son of a wealthy merchant, his fascination with a girl who has a heart for the poor, his conversion to Christ, and the formation of his own order of penitents. It also includes some of the political intrigues which caused him to give up leadership of his order and touches upon his stigmata and the outward manifestations of his calling. In doing so, the movie is faithful to the basic outline of the history of Francis’s life that has come down to us from the biographical sketch entitled FIRST LEGEND by Franciscan monk Thomas of Celano, 29, who joined Francis at age 14.
However, the film misses the mark of showing the inner spiritual joy, love and charismatic gifts which were bestowed upon Francesco by God’s grace. Also, the movie fails to represent his love of nature and his stirring oratory. Aside from subtle portrayals of hedonism, naturalistic male nudity and some violence, FRANCESCO would be a good introduction to students of history, but not if they want to find the faith of St. Francis or examine the power of the Gospel to change lives. In that case, they should read the beloved classic THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF ST. FRANCIS.