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I felt strangely calm. It was like coming home. I had spent years developing an idea that had grown bigger and more ambitious as time went by. I had become engrossed in environmental and sustainable issues that I felt, and still feel, need our urgent attention. I had wanted to find a way of presenting an alternative lifestyle that was practical, realistic, and more enjoyable than the one a lot of us are currently living. I still felt, and feel, that there is an urgent need to develop a film along these lines but I had begun to realise that I needed more thinking time before the ideas could be turned into a really good film. So, I was curiously quite relieved to have the opportunity to go backwards in order to later on go forwards. I needed, as it were, to consolidate my base camp before venturing onto the rarefied slopes of Mount Everest. But I had already made many excursions and had gained a whole lot of experiences that altered my perspective on the story of St. Francis.

I knew that a simple rendition of his life on film, though interesting and informative, would nevertheless be relegated as just that: another story, maybe less sentimental than Zeffirelli’s ‘Brother Sun and Sister Moon’, or less whimsical than Rossellini’s ‘Francis, God’s Jester ‘ life of St Francis’ but easily put aside as charming and of no great significance to the twenty first century. Whereas I passionately believed that his story and way of life have profound implications for us today and open up fascinating possibilities for changes of lifestyle that could radically alter and enhance our way of life. I really don’t think it is too far fetched to say that St. Francis’s radical approach to how life can be lived, translated into twenty first century terminology and practise, could have as great an influence on mankind as Karl Marks’s ‘Das Capital’ has had on twentieth century world history, only with better results.

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