Brother Sun, Sister Moon
: Fratello Sole Sorella Luna
) is a 1972
film directed by Franco Zeffirelli
and starring Graham Faulkner
and Judi Bowker
. The film is a biopic
of Saint Francis of Assisi
Featuring Zeffirelli's signature lush photography, Brother Sun Sister Moon was conceived and executed in much the same visual manner as his Academy Award-winning adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (1968). Brother Sun Sister Moon attempts to draw parallels between the work and philosophy of Saint Francis and the ideology that underpinned the worldwide hippie movement of the 1960s and early '70s. The film is also known for the score composed by Riz Ortolani.
British newcomer Graham Faulkner
portrays Francesco, the spoiled son of a wealthy merchant. Following his return from war, Francesco renounces all his worldly possessions to live an ascetic
and simple life
as a man of God
. Much to the dismay of his family, friends and the local bishop
, he gradually gains a large following amongst the poor and the suffering
Clare, a young woman also of a wealthy family, serves and cares for lepers of the community. Francis is inspired by her example, and in return, after his community forms, she comes to join the brothers in their life of poverty.
The film contrasts Francis's innocence, piety and virtue with the bloated pomp of official Roman Catholic Church doctrine, which is depicted as being weighed down by internal politics, corruption and hypocrisy. Much of Brother Sun Sister Moon was filmed in locations and buildings frequented by the real-life Francis of Assisi.
The film features a cast of newcomers and screen veterans:
The romantic soundtrack was by the Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan
, which reflected the 'flower power' mood of Zeffirelli's film and the cinematography in particular. Donovan also sang all the songs on the soundtrack itself. The composer Leonard Bernstein
had originally been approached to provide a score but the plans fell through. However Bernstein used some of the planned material in his Mass
In 2004, Donovan re-recorded the songs from the long out-of-print soundtrack. Brother Sun, Sister Moon was released exclusively on iTunes Store.