The Flowers of St. Francis

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Year Released: 1950
Rating: 3.5

Simple, poetic film about the self-doubting and impossibly humble Francis of Assisi and his attempts to spread God's word while training some less-than-bright assistants. It eschews standard plotting for vignette-type sections but is shockingly effective in that approach: its austerity and calmness have this meditative effect on the patient viewer. The only real 'slip-up' that I can detect is the scene where one of Francis' acolytes runs into an armored giant, but the section where Francis tries to console a decaying leper is so gorgeous and tragic; it does plenty to compensate.