The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers – starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their Rule and ending with their dispersal to preach. The unconnected chapters are like parables, some with a moral. The slight and comic Ginepro returns naked to St. Mary’s of the Angels, having given away his tunic, but not his ricotta. The aged Giovanni shouts and holds onto his cape; the beatific St. Clair pays a visit. Humble Francis doubts his leadership, hugs a leper, and sends his brothers spinning, dizzy, and smiling into the world. This brotherhood is infused with whimsy as well as belief.
Est – Ouest / East – West (1999) Régis Wargnier, Oleg Menshikov, Sandrine Bonnaire, Catherine Deneuve, Drama, History, Romance
June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It’s a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or prison. He and his French wife (her passport ripped up) are sent to Kiev. She wants to return to France immediately; he knows that they are captives and must watch every step. By chance, she meets a touring French actress and pleads for help. She also takes a young swimmer under her wing, and several years later, he makes a bold attempt to escape. Meanwhile, the KGB is suspicious, and hope for freedom is dim. Patience, her husband’s self control, and her good looks may be their only assets.
2 Filhos de Francisco / Two Sons of Francisco (2005) Breno Silveira, Ângelo Antônio, Dira Paes, Márcio Kieling, Biography, Drama, History
Köshpendiler / Nomad: The Warrior (2005) Sergey Bodrov, Ivan Passer, Kuno Becker, Jason Scott Lee, Jay Hernandez, Drama, History, War
Rebirth of a nation. Not since Genghis Khan has anyone united the Kazakh tribes. Jungar tribesmen of Mongolia rule Kazakh land, but a prophecy has it that a descendant of Genghis will unite his people. Oraz the Wise travels the land looking for the child who will fulfill the prophecy. He finds that infant and protects him from the warriors of Galdan, the Jungar king. Oraz recruits one lad from each Kazakh tribe and teaches them the art of war, loyalty, and camaraderie. Two are the best: Mansur and Erali. They are like brothers. Each must prove himself; both fall in love with the same young woman; both fall into enemy hands. At what cost does a prophecy come to pass?
De Sade (1969) Cy Endfield, Roger Corman, Keir Dullea, Senta Berger, Lilli Palmer, Biography, Drama, History
Hounded by the police on charges of inflammatory writing, the once handsome Marquis De Sade seeks refuge in an abandoned family mansion. This colorful movie depicts DeSade’s life from childhood to manhood. A life infamous for erotic behavior, going from woman to woman, seeking a love that eludes him.
Padurea spânzuratilor / Forest of the Hanged (1965) Liviu Ciulei, Victor Rebengiuc, Stefan Ciubotarasu, Drama, History, Romance
In 1916 ethnic Romanian Apostol Bologa is a Lieutenant in the Habsburg Army and he reports for duty on the front lines determined to do his duty. Upon his arrival he meets a fellow officer, Captain Klapka, and informs him of the upcoming execution of Lieutenant Svoboda who tried to desert to the enemy. Lieutenant Bologa shows his satisfaction at having been a member of the Court Martial that convicted Svoboda to death by hanging.After all,they all took an oath of loyalty toward the Habsburgs.Despite Bologa’s loyal bravado the fact that their enemy is the Romanian Army doesn’t escape him.The Romanian lines are just a few yards away and being a Romanian himself Bologa longs for his native Romania.More and more Bologa agonizes over loyalty and desertion to his Romanian brethren.His friend,Captain Klapka, reminds him of the severe penalty for desertion.
The Sign of the Cross (1932) Cecil B. DeMille, Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi, Drama, History
After burning Rome, Emperor Nero decides to blame the Christians, and issues the edict that they are all to be caught and sent to the arena. Two old Christians are caught, and about to be hauled off, when Marcus, the highest military official in Rome, comes upon them. When he sees their stepdaughter Mercia, he instantly falls in love with her and frees them. Marcus pursues Mercia, which gets him into trouble with Emperor (for being easy on Christians) and with the Empress, who loves him and is jealous.
Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the idea of leading a more settled life, decides he needs a woman to start the process, and selects Corinna Marston, the beautiful young wife of Colonel Marston, commander of the next fort down the line. Marston arrives and announces to commanding officer Captain Riordan that he has lost his fort and most of his men to an Indian attack and that he, as ranking officer, is assuming command. Riordan, a young, but sensible officer, is outraged when he learns that Marston, posted out west for having lost his 1500-man command during a Civil War battle, has ordered the entire fort’s complement, totally unprepared for combat and outnumbered, to march out against experienced Indian warriors.
Lepa sela lepo gore / Pretty Village, Pretty Flame (1996) Srdjan Dragojevic, Dragan Bjelogrlic, Nikola Kojo, Dragan Maksimovic, Comedy, Drama, History
At the Belgrade army hospital, casualties of Bosnian civil war are treated. In the hospital they remember their youth and the war. Two young boys, Halil, a Muslim, and Milan, a Serb, have grown up together near a deserted tunnel linking the Yugoslav cities of Belgrade and Zagreb. They never dare go inside, as they believe an ogre resides there. Twelve years later, during the Bosnian civil war, Milan, who is trapped in the tunnel with his troop, and Halil, find themselves on opposing sides, fatefully heading toward confrontation.
Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953) Lew Landers, Anthony Dexter, Jody Lawrance, Alan Hale Jr., Drama, History, Romance
Captain John Smith (Anthony Dexter), returned fom the Jamestown colony, is telling his story before the Court of King James I (Anthony Eustral.) He tells of the unrest in the colony and how he set out to make peace with the Indians. He is captured and sentenced to death, but Pocahontas (Jody Lawrence) makes her celebrated intervention and, instead of a slaying, there is a wedding. Back at Jamestown, Smith makes efforts to keep the colony united and the Indians from attacking, in spite of the efforts of some in the colony who stir up trouble for their own gain. He exposes them and returns to England to give his report. He stays because Pocahontas, thinking he is dead, has remarried.