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Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Bilingual)

Graham Faulkner , Judi Bowker , Franco Zeffirelli    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 67.36
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Frequently Bought Together

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Bilingual) + The Gospel Of  John (Sous-titres français)
Price For Both: CDN$ 79.34

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Product Description


It seemed like a good idea in 1973: a musical scored by Donovan about the life and times of St. Francis of Assisi, the passionate ascetic who expressed love for God by loving nature. But the finished product was something else. Filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli (Endless Love) makes a decorous effort at communicating the ideals of Francis and even tweaking the character toward flower-power relevance. But the result is feel-good fluff, a boring movie that doesn't penetrate its subject as much as reinvent him toward a modern bias. Graham Faulkner is entirely forgettable in the lead, and Donovan's songs on this project aren't exactly first-rate, either. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Souls, Rejoice! May 5 2004
By A Customer
I thought I was the only person in the world who loved this movie (or for that matter, who had even heard of it!)
Yes, it is very clearly colored by the era when it was made - flower power and all that. But Franco Zefferelli delivers the kind of film we've come to expect from him. Every frame looks like a Renaissance painting. The faces are unique and wonderful; the Italian scenery is breathtaking.
Zefferelli is a little heavy-handed with visual imagery now and again - Francesco's death and rebirth symbolism, in particular. He also has Francesco move in slow motion when he wants to make sure that you get the point, and I find this mildly annoying. However, these shortcomings are more than eclipsed by the joyful innocence and power of the overall message.
Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker are perfect for the roles they play, as are the members of the supporting cast.
Donovan's music, far from jarring when set into a medieval story, fits seamlessly. I wish it had been released on a CD; I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It's glorious and uplifting.
This is a gentle film, full of color and joy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Blessing DVD April 9 2004
By A Customer
I love this movie and bought the DVD the day it came out. It wasn't a surprise that there were no extras, but dittos to reviewer "libretio" on what should have been included. Sat down as soon as I got home to watch it. The opening is grainy, but overall the colors and sharpness are fantastic. It was immediately apparent however, that the top and bottom had been removed to make this "widescreen". Since I also own the VHS version, I popped in the tape and compared the two and found that the DVD cut out a little on each side as well (especially noticable on the rooftop scene where Francis is cut off by a third on the right side of the screen)! Disappointing to say the least, as I had looked forward to seeing MORE and not LESS. This disc should satisfy anyone that chooses to watch 'standard' size shows on their 16:9 TV in zoom mode.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational July 13 2004
Dated; yes, but boring? . . . Never. Maybe if you're looking for action instead of inspiration. I've watched this movie countless times and have never failed to find its anti-materialist message inspirational. If it contains historical inaccuracies; show me a movie or book about a 13th century character that doesn't. Yes, it is dated to the '70s in places, but what of it? This is a movie with an essential message told well: i.e. The glory of war and possessions can't ultimately satisfy. And while I may hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone, say, under 40; if you want to know how it feels to leave the pursuit of yet another crummy dead-end job, for inner peace, Brother Sun Sister Moon may just do the trick.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful July 9 2004
By F.Y.I.
The editorial review by Amazon.com (Tom Keogh) should stop after the first sentence. Tom's review is "a decorous effort" to tweak his ego and impress readers who enjoy uppity reviews more than good movies. I don't know why Amazon would even allow their review to discourage sales, for one thing. More importantly, this is a beautiful movie, to a different tempo, with lovely music and spiritual significance for the gentle recipient.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirit of Francis July 5 2004
This movie was a major inspiration in my life as a Franciscan. It captures the spirit of Francis of Assisi, the joy, the freedom, the devotion to Christ. It is true that it is "ahistorical" which is NOT to say unhistorical, but rather creative fidelity to the spirit of the saint. All of Zeferelli's work has a quality of caricature, but faithful even though exaggerated. Many people have used those songs by Donavan as well, as they are quite moving and joyous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brother Sun, Sister Moon Dec 12 2009
I had seen the film when it first came out in the early 70s. I found it excellent. Brother Sun, Sister Moon is a fascinating and compelling story of St. Francis of Assisi and his followers including Sister Claire. It was well presented in the movie. Francis found a more significant and challenging way to proclaim his faith. It meant going against his family and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. At that time of history it was inundated with opulence and corruption. The acting was well done. However, I felt the film did not go far enough to reveal more about Francis' forming his Order of the Franciscan after the Pope acknowledged his mission as valid. Donavan's singing throughout the film was not well recorded. At times, I found it distracting. Overall, the movie bordered on being a docu-drama. It has a very strong message for utmost consideration for those practicing Christianity. It profoundly emphasizes the true meaning of following Christ hence why the Franciscan Fathers are so well respected world-wide. It reminded me what being a Christian means particularly as Francis discovered, it means honouring Creation and Creator by living it daily. An important message that's relevant today when the world is facing climate and environmental challenges. Francis opened the door and made a clear-cut pathway for all of us to follow ad infinitum. The film is not entertainment, instead it makes a statement. A good film for all to view with an open mind and spirit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film Jan. 21 2001
I am a member of the Franciscan Third Order and fell in love with this movie back when I was only 13. (I'm now 34) This movie is definitely a product of the 60's - but the message is timeless. I feel badly that the review by Amazon was so discouraging. I would not want anyone to read that and make a judgement.
The movie represents, in my opinion, the true beauty of the Franciscan charism. The joy, simplicity and love that our Saint Francis embodied. I felt that Mr. Faulkner was an EXCELLENT choice for the lead role - he couldn't have been any closer to what I imagine Francis being. The director, Franco Zeffirelli, has done notable films ("Endless Love" NOT among his best). If you are a fan of the famous "Jesus of Nazareth", then I would suggest viewing this. In any case, this is a wonderful little film to get you acquainted with this timeless saint.
One bit of trivia - Sir Alec Guinness wanted to play the part of the Pope - as he had just converted to Catholicism not long before the making of this film. :-)
Hope this rudimentary review helped!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
This movie is a classic, the actors are amazing, the adaptation is great the only thing and it's a small thing but it could be enough to bother some people concerns some of the... Read more
Published on April 8 2011 by Annie Decary
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Few Things But Do Them Well
Sometimes the world seems to forget about us. Sometimes things get going too fast. Sometimes we feel too lonely. Read more
Published on July 30 2010 by tmarkl
5.0 out of 5 stars truly inspiring
I first saw this film when my mother taped it from the T.V in 1991 and passed it to me.I and all my children watched it and watched it. Read more
Published on May 29 2006 by Sallybrown
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Get It?
It's a classic.
It's warm.
For the spiritually minded, it has a simple message.
I believe this movie is presented in a way that some just can't understand,... Read more
Published on June 4 2004 by Christopher C. Alsruhe
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a Blooper
Every detail of this movie has been written about, it seems, but has anyone noticed the Blue and Gold Macaw on someone's shoulder, I think when they were in Rome? Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by Mudpie
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 years later!!! It's still awesome!
Yes, my very 1st time to see this movie was 30 yrs ago as part of our school's religion activity. It was 1974 - 6th grade, nothing really make sense to me why we have to watch this... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by S. D. Ramos
5.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE
I bought the VHS a couple of years ago and have waited patiently for the DVD version. I was not disappointed. Read more
Published on May 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Brother Zefferelli
As Francis had to contend against the establishment of his day, so did this film against the critics in ours. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Gord Wilson
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