Arabella Lemaitre

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The Flowers Of St. Francis Review


Very Good
Few filmgoers are aware of Roberto Rossellini's ode to St. Francis of Assisi, The Flowers of St. Francis. More of a treatise on the Catholic religion and its most famous friar than an actual film, there's probably a good reason few have seen it. But now Criterion has reissued the film on DVD, so the rest of the world can bask in its quirky joys.

The film is told in unconnected vignettes, all set in the hills outside Assisi, where St. Francis and his band of merry monks whiled away their simple days. It's hardly an estate they were living on: A couple of stone huts and a bonfire, that's about it. I spent the first half of the 82-minute film trying to figure out what they did when it rained and where exactly they slept.

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