An Urgent Faith-Based Biographical Drama Exploring The Trailblazing Power Of Women

Mar 8, 2024


Cabrini offers a feminist tale of persistence, depicting the struggles of a Catholic missionary in late 19th-century New York City.
Cristiana Dell’Anna delivers a strong performance, underscoring Cabrini’s tenacity despite societal barriers for women.
Cabrini employs a beautiful visual style to showcase the inspiring journey of Francesca Cabrini’s charitable work among the impoverished.

As Francesca Cabrini, the determined religious sister and future patron saint of immigrants, found herself at another impasse to help the suffering poor around the world, she was told by the Pope that he struggled to know where her “faith ends” and her “ambition begins.” This conflict between vocation and persistence was what made Cabrini such a compelling drama, with Mexican director Alejandro Monteverde powerfully depicting the incredible life of the Catholic missionary. Set in late 19th-century New York City, Cabrini highlighted the social and economic barriers faced by poor Italian immigrants forced to live in abject squalor.

Based on the true life of Francesca Cabrini, Cabrini is a biography-drama film that explores the life of the titular Catholic missionary. The film sees Cabrini face off against the mayor of New York City to help improve the lives of both immigrants and the poor.ProsCristiana Dell’Anna is excellent in the role of Francesca CabriniCabrini’s story is intense and pulls you in ConsThe film’s supporting characters lack developmentCabrini’s is overlong and overstays its welcome

Cabrini and its message of charity and empathy rested entirely on the performance of Italian actress Cristiana Dell’Anna, who brought a sharp edge and sense of stubbornness to the role of the heartfelt nun, who never lets the obstacles placed on women stand in her way. The world depicted in Cabrini was one rife with pain, struggle, and difficult men, and with a stern look and quiet confidence, Dell’Anna showcased how Cabrini used her limited resources to change the world. No stranger to adversity, Cabrini always found a way to get what she wanted.

The world depicted in
was one rife with pain, struggle, and difficult men, and with a stern look and quiet confidence, Dell’Anna showcased how Cabrini used her limited resources to change the world.

Cabrini Is Less Controversial Than Monteverde’s Previous Work
Mother Francesca Cabrini’s fight to help the less fortunate is different from Sound of Freedom.

When discussing Cabrini one cannot ignore the divisive career of Monteverde, whose controversial Sound of Freedom, his 2023 Christian thriller about child sex-trafficking, was a major box-office success that divided audiences for its perceived connections to QAnon conspiracy theories. Cabrini, however, was less inflammatory. Its story of a literal saint and her quest to help the poorest in New York, and eventually the world, tackled a far less controversial topic and quietly veiled its faith-based messaging through social and political problems. The idea that it’s noble to help the poor may be simplistic, but it’s impossible to deny.

At its core, Cabrini is a feminist story whose bloated 140-minute runtime slightly overstays its welcome, but also packs an emotional punch for those willing to accept its message. While the cast is littered with unknown names, David Morse delivers a convincing performance as Archbishop Corrigan, who is slowly won over by the passion of Cabrini. John Lithgow also embodies the villainous Mayor Gould, who wished to stand in the way of Cabrini’s charitable work and ensure the poor Italian children were condemned to a life where “rats have it better” in the disease-ridden slum of Five Points, New York.

One disappointing feature of this biographical drama was the other religious sisters of Cabrini’s congregation felt like accessories to her mission rather than well-rounded characters. The perspectives of the poor child immigrants were seen through young Paolo (Federico Ielapi) and the teenager Enzo (Liam Campora), and their swift transformation from thieving street kids to intense followers of Cabrini happened with ease. While it’s true the poor seen in Cabrini needed food, shelter, and healthcare, to present this in black-and-white terms undermined the complexities of how impoverished minorities are forced into lives of crime.

Cabrini Director Alejandro Monteverde Release Date March 8, 2024 Studio(s) Francesca Film Production NY , Lupin Film , Lodigiano Film Development Inc. Distributor(s) Angel Studios Writers Rod Barr , Alejandro Monteverde Cast Cristiana Dell’Anna , David Morse , Romana Maggiora Vergano , Federico Ielapi , Virginia Bocelli , Rolando Villazón , Giancarlo Giannini , John Lithgow Runtime 145 Minutes

Cabrini’s Thoughtful Visual Style Is Beautiful Even When Depicting Distressing Poverty
It’s a showcase of Cabrini’s earliest struggles before spreading her message around the world.

Cabrini has a striking, accomplished visual style, and scenes are carefully constructed and positioned for maximum impact. From the earliest moments of a child defeated and broken in an alley to Cabrini’s contentious confrontations with authority figures, the film’s scenes always lingered just a few seconds longer to allow us to appreciate the beauty of the shot and depth of its lighting and shadow. Even as the charitable and safe world Cabrini created for children crumbled around her, there was still hope in the beauty on display.

Even as the charitable and safe world Cabrini created for children crumbled around her, there was still hope in the beauty on display.

While it’s said Cabrini had compromised lungs from childhood tuberculosis and was unlikely to live a long life, she survived well into her 60s, founded a religious order, and built hospitals all over the world. Cabrini depicted her earliest challenges and, in the end, audiences were left to imagine how she overcame even greater obstacles to achieve her mission of helping the world’s poor. Cabrini’s was a powerful story that deserved to be told, and even for those off-put by religion, its feminist depiction of a woman succeeding in a male-dominated world should be admired.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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