Zeffirelli's "Brother Sun, Sister Moon"
Zeffirelli's 1972 film "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" (Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna) about the life of St. Francis is, in my opinion, still a delight. It traces the conversion of St. Francis and the early establishment of the Franciscan order. It is a very romanticised picture and Zeffirelli clearly wanted to draw parallels with the 1960s and 1970s worldwide hippie or "flower power" and anti Vietnam War generation. It even had some very folksy ballads sung by Donovan, so it is very much of its time. Nevertheless, the history is broadly sound and its message direct, although a bit simplistic. I knew of one Francisacan novice who went to see the film twenty-five times before his profession and he stayed the course until his death.
The rather surreal scenes when the scruffy Franciscans enter St. Peter's in Rome actually convey the feel of mediaeval liturgy and Alec Guiness as Pope Innocent III, although quintessentially English, is is quite splendid.
It is easy to sneer at the barefooted St. Francis skipping through the fields or St. Clare as a vision of loveliness viewed among the flowers, but at its heart the film does emphasise the desire for transcendence through selflessness and love.