Friars want to show their passion
Franciscan friars have petitioned Mel Gibson to make a movie depicting the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.
14:35 21 April 2004
Franciscan friars have petitioned Mel Gibson to follow his film "The Passion of the Christ" with a movie depicting the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.
The campaign is gathering pace after more than 8,000 added their names to the friar's " open letter and respectful petition
The letter was posted after Father Glenn Sudano, head of a community of 82 friars in the New York area, watched "The Passion".
Father Sudano saw a biopic of Saint Francis as a natural sequel to Gibson's film. He also feels it is high time for a realistic film to be made on the subject.
"They dip these people in plaster," Father Sudano said about perceptions of the saints. "They are much more powerful, more interesting, more engaging, much more human."
Father Sudano feels that previous films made about Saint Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment, were closer to caricatures of the great man.
He said "Brother Sun, Sister Moon", made in 1972, "neutered and reduced Saint Francis and made him into something of a hippie."
The friar added that casting Mickey Rourke in the title role of "Francesco" in 1989 was "not even a near miss."
"My hope is that it [the petition] raises the issue [of making a realistic Saint Francis film]," Father Sudano commented.
"If Mr Gibson chooses not to do this, maybe there will be a Polish director or whatever ... We just want someone to do it right."