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  • Film Description

BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON, directed by Franco Zeffirelli


The story of young Saint Francis of Assisi and his spiritual conversion.


Francesco is a happy and carefree young man. When war breaks out between Perugia and Assisi, he joins the conflict and returns weary with a wounded spirit. After a long reflection, he decides to renounce material goods and retires to a small church dedicated to Saint Damian, which he rebuilds with the help of his followers. Even his old friends and teenager Chiara join him. They live on handouts, are judged as crazy by wealthy citizens and are opposed by civil and religious authorities. Determined to affirm his evangelical beliefs, Francesco goes to Rome to meet Pope Innocent III, who, after listening to him, prostrates himself at his feet in approval of his work.


Franco Zeffirelli reinterprets the story of Saint Francis of Assisi in "Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna" (Brother Sun, Sister Moon), creating a vibrant allegory of the youth protests of our times. With an approach that is very reminiscent of the hippies in "Hair" and inevitably evokes "Jesus Christ Superstar", the director puts into his work a spirit of rebellion and a spiritual search that deeply reflects the attitudes and feelings of modern day.


The film stands out for its cinemagraphic luxury, which Zeffirelli uses masterfully. However, it is his exterior scenes, filmed in the miraculous landscapes of Umbria and Tuscany, that the film truly shines. In these scenes, the poor man's Francis moves and smiles with a soft, engaging clarity, capturing the purity and simplicity of his devotion.


By rejecting overly effusive or preaching tones Zeffirelli humanizes Saint Francis, thus presenting him as a young man with spiritual fervor and a desire for social justice. The harmonious relationship between the film's locations and characters is one of the its triumphs. Zeffirelli's scenes skillfully alternate between heavy, ironic moods and moments that are almost ethereal, to create a narrative that is both anchored and transcendental.


"Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna received a critical reception marked by an Oscar nomination for Best Art Design/Set Decoration, in addition to being honored with awards at Nastri d'Argento for Best Cinematography, and Winner of Best Director Award at the David di Donatello, solidifying its position as a cinema classic that celebrates faith and the beauty of human simplicity, inviting us to reflect on our own spiritual journey and rediscover the joy of connection with the divine and with others.


Cast: Graham Faulkner, Judi Bowker, Leigh Lawson, Alec Guinness, Kenneth Cranham, Michael Feast, Nicholas Willat, Valentina Cortese, Lee Montague, John Sharp, Adolfo Celi, Francesco Guerrieri

Country : Italy/United Kingdom

Year : 1971

Duration : 137 minutes

Genre : Drama/Biographical/Historical

Age : free for all audiences


Subtitles: Portuguese, English

FREE ENTRY, subject to availability, no reservations


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