O Great God-Humility and Camera Movement in Roberto Rossellini

  • Author(s): Justin Ponder
  • When: 2013-04
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • Roberto Rossellini's The Flowers of St. Francis (1950) represents the saint's humility through the director's humble style. Some claim this becomes most apparent in one scene where reverse-editing creates a compassionate bond between the saint and a leper. Close analysis, however, shows that cinematographic elements link Francis to God more than this counterpart. These elements pair him with a man for whom he feels compassion less than the God to whom he shows obedience. Ultimately, this scene's humble style suggests the ways in which humility might be based less on compassion for others than obedience to God.

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