Finding Saint Francis

Directed and narrated by Paul Alexander, Finding Saint Francis is a documentary drama film of a modern retelling of the life story of Saint Francis of Assisi. The movie gives a fascinating insight into how Francis went from a licentious youth, to being outcast from his family, to extreme poverty, to eventually, becoming one of the most popular saints off all time.

In the Finding Saint Francis, Peter Stone, a high flyer in the city of London whose best friend has just committed suicide, has been pushed to the edge of a nervous breakdown. On the advice of his doctor he decides to spend a few days at a Franciscan friary deep in the Dorset countryside. But, on arriving, he finds that a film is being made on the life of Saint Francis there. When the lead actor playing Francis has to withdraw, Peter, with a past in amateur dramatics, is the perfect replacement. For Peter it’s the first steps on an extraordinary journey that completely changes his life.

Saint Francis eschewed property and raising family to lead a life where humility, love and joy were the keynotes of existence. His delight in the little things of life, his ability to sing and dance and play the fool, and his love of the natural world endeared him to peasants and popes alike. He befriended animals and saw the whole of creation as his brothers and sisters. This later earned him the title of Patron Saint of the Environment. Yet despite this simplicity, Francis still had the strength of character to broker ceasefires between armies of opposing religions and to become the unwitting leader of an order, that by his death, numbered thousands.

Even though he lived nearly seven hundred years ago Saint Francis’s biography is every bit as relevant in modern time as it was then. Whether religious or not, Francis’s life speaks to us of love, of joy, of reconciliation between faiths and of reverence for the natural environment, of love of all of creation.