Francesco (film)

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Francesco 1989 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Liliana Cavani
Produced byGiulio Scanni
Screenplay byLiliana Cavani
Roberta Mazoni
Starring Mickey Rourke
Helena Bonham Carter
Music by Vangelis
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Edited by Gabriella Cristiani
Distributed byItal-Noleggio Cinematografico
Release date
April 22, 1989 (1989-04-22)
Running time
104 min (Germany)
150 min (Italy)
133 min (Argentina)
West Germany
Language English

Francesco is a 1989 docu-drama relating in flashback St. Francis of Assisi's evolution from rich man's son to religious humanitarian and finally to full-fledged saint. The film was based on Hermann Hesse's Francis of Assisi, which director Liliana Cavani had previously filmed in 1966. It was shot in the Italian region of Abruzzo and it stars Mickey Rourke and Helena Bonham Carter. Greek composer, Vangelis, provided the musical score.

Hermann Hesse German writer

Hermann Karl Hesse was a German-born poet, novelist, and painter. His best-known works include Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Liliana Cavani Italian film director and screenwriter

Liliana Cavani is an Italian film director and screenwriter. She belongs to a generation of Italian filmmakers from Emilia-Romagna that came into prominence in the 1970s, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Marco Bellocchio. Cavani became internationally known after the success of her 1974 feature film Il portiere di notte. Her films are intellectual and have historical concerns. In addition to feature films and documentaries, she has also directed opera.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.


Raised as the pampered son of a merchant, Francis goes off to war, only to return with a profound horror for the society which generated such suffering. In one scene, as an act of renunciation, he strips himself of his fine clothing in front of his father, and leaves the house naked and barefoot, joining the lepers and beggars in the poor section of town. A series of episodes from Francis' life follows, rather than a coherent narrative, until his final days when he receives the stigmata, the wounds Christ suffered at the crucifixion.

Stigmata the appearance of bodily wounds, scars, and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ

Stigmata in Christianity are the appearance of bodily wounds, scars, and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet. An individual bearing the wounds of stigmata is a stigmatist or a stigmatic.

The film won three awards and was nominated for a fourth. Danilo Donati won the 1989 David di Donatello Award for Best Production Design, and the 1989 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Silver Ribbon also for Best Production Design. Fabio Bussotti won the Syndicate's Best Supporting Actor Award. Director Liliana Cavani was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. [1]

Danilo Donati was an Italian costume designer and production designer. He won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design twice: the first time for his work in Romeo and Juliet (1968), the second time for his work in Fellini's Casanova (1976). In addition, he received numerous David di Donatello and Nastro d'Argento awards for his costume and production designs in various films.

David di Donatello annual Italian film award

The David di Donatello Awards, named after Donatello's David, are film awards presented each year for cinematic performances and production by L'Accademia del Cinema Italiano. There are 24 award categories as of 2006.

1989 Cannes Film Festival

The 42nd Cannes Film Festival was held from 11 to 23 May 1989. The Palme d'Or went to the Sex, Lies, and Videotape by Steven Soderbergh.


Mickey Rourke American actor, screenwriter, and former boxer

Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke Jr., is an American actor, screenwriter, and former boxer, who has appeared primarily as a leading man in drama, action, and thriller films.

Helena Bonham Carter British actress

Helena Bonham Carter is an English actress. She is known for her roles in both low-budget independent art films and large-scale blockbusters. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove (1997). For her role as Queen Elizabeth in The King's Speech (2010), she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She also won the 2010 International Emmy Award for Best Actress for her role as British author Enid Blyton in the TV film Enid (2009).

Andréa Ferréol French actress

Andréa Ferréol is a French actress and officer of the Ordre national du Mérite (2009).

Sound Track

The sound track of the film was composed by the Greek composer Vangelis. It was never officially issued, but released in a limited edition not licensed for public by Andromeda Music (AMO103) in 2002.

Vangelis Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music

Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, known professionally as Vangelis, is a Greek musician and composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score to Chariots of Fire, also composing scores for the films Blade Runner, Missing, Antarctica, The Bounty, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.

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  1. "Festival de Cannes: Francesco". Retrieved 2009-08-01.