This movie, like the life of St. Francis, is filled with wondrous lessons that are just as important today as when St. Francis lived some 800 years ago.
The lessons include:
1. Go slow, do few things, do them well. "If you want your dream to be, take your time, go slowly…Do few things but do them well…" from the Donovan song.
2. Be humble---discover your "infinite debt".
3. Be careful about what you treasure for that will be where your heart resides. So lectured Francesco to the Pope.
4. Beware of cynicism. Bernardo struggled between following his ideals or cynicism and his ideals won out.
5. Freedom comes from being the servant, not the master.
6. Have empathy for those less fortunate---remember, there but for the grace of God…
7. Learn from adversity---where did I go wrong?
8. Be flexible, not everyone's path is the same as yours.
9. Saying "NO" is the first step; however, you also have to know what to say "YES" to.
10. Ultimately it is actions/behaviors, not simply words, that count. Bernardo: "I want to help you." Francesco: "Words, words Bernardo, I once believed in words."
I'm sure you can find other messages and lessons in the film and the life of St. Francis. What ones would you want to add to the above list?
Also, it is very interesting to note how St. Francis is influenced by his parents. His mother is French and his father is Italian. She is sophisticated, gentle, and loving. He is crude, hard, and demanding. Both parents are happy to see him go off to the Crusades to slaughter as many Muslims as possible. His father sees this as a way of making money. His mother sees it as a noble adventure in behalf of the church. But, in time, Francesco/Francois, must choose between his parents, the two alternatives they pose, and he elects to be more like his mother than his father. He elects to be more androgynous, more balanced, more loving, less materialistic, less willing to use others for his own gain.
We can often better understand a person's spiritual/religious beliefs by examining the struggles within their family.
I wonder how acting in this film effected the lives of the two leads, Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker? I have not been able to discover anything about them except the following. Faulkner to my knowledge did not star in any other movies. Bowker made four more films over the next 12 years.
If anyone finds out more about them, please let me know.