- Actors: Beppe Fiorello
- Directors: Giacomo Campiotti
- Format: NTSC, Box set
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 2
- Run Time: 200 minutes
The film titled ST. GIUSEPPE MOSCATI: DOCTOR TO THE POOR was so interesting that the undersigned viewed it more than once. Rarely does this reviewer ever write about films most of which are a waste of time. However, this film grabbed the unsigned's attention. The film deals with many of human characteristics such as greed, professional envy, false pride, compasssion, bona fide love, mercy, kindness, etc.
The setting of this film is in Naples, Italy. Guiseppe Moscati was an aspiring medical student whose skill and ability led to both spiritual and medical insights that most of his professors and colleagues did not share. One of Moscati's excellent professors was not Catholic and was an agnostic with whom Moscati had numerous debates which were not angry exchanges. Both men remained close friends.
Early during the film Moscati showed mercy and compassion for those who were despartely poor. This antagonized assciates, but Moscati's skill as a diagnostician and physician were impressive enough to silence his critics. Some of Moscati's critics were proud snobs who would irritate and anger most. However, the film portrays Moscati as wise and understanding in confronting such people. A nun who helped run a hospital and worked with Moscati disapproved of Moscati's unorthodox style. She was "a stickler for the rules" because as she said, her family was ruined by the unfairness of the law, rules, and fair play. Yet, Moscati changed her when she commented that the rules and regulartions mean nothing without love and charity.
There are touching scenes whereby Moscati befriends a street urchin. The little fellow shows wisdom and understanding. The relationship ended in a moving scene when this little fellow died in Moscati's arms. The little fellow died peacefully when no one except Moscati was able or willing to help.
The film has numerous scenes of poor patients who are brought back to life from the brink of death. These scenes showed colleagues who disapproved of Moscati's intense care and love for the poor, but the critics were powerless to stop Moscati. Some of these scenes showed the typical wonderful Italian sense of humor as well as the typical Italian sense of honor.
Moscati surrendered marriage to a beautiful woman, family, fame, fortune, etc. He gave up an offer of a teaching position to a colleague who was bitterly jealous of Moscati. Moscati fell in love with his work and the penniless patients with whom he assiciated. In one scene, Moscati literally risked his life saving the lives of others in a hospice during a volcano erutpion and earthquake.
Moscati changed those around him, and he changed them for the better. His sister dropped her social pretenses to be a kind woman. Moscati was able to attract ambitious young medical students to help him with his work. One scene showed a young medical student who was told that Moscati was crazy. The young man responded that he (the young medical student) was crazy enough to join Moscati.
As mentioned above, Moscati had an influence on others including those who hated him. One of Moscati's antagonists married the woman whom Moscati loved. This fellow sired a child whom Moscati pulled from an orphanage. The resentful antagonist and his wife could not have children. Moscati arranged for the little fellow's adoption, and Moscati's resentful antagonist finally realized his own shallow pride and loved Moscati for what Moscati did for him.
A few lines from the film are worth noting. Moscati's great professor and colleague died. Moscati honored this man with an eulogy stating that friends can appreciate each other because of their differences and in spite of their differences. When Moscati had to sell prized family possessions, he was told that these beautiful paintings and furniture would be missed. Moscati responded that the smiles on the faces of the poor patients were much more beautiful.
The acting in this film was good. Moscati (1880-1927)did not live to be 50. Yet, this film protrays a saint's short life which transformed those around him. Moscati did not help the less fortunate because he felt compelled by God and his Catholic Faith to do so. Although this may have played a role. Moscati helped the less fortunate because his joy was to bring joy and healing to others especially those who were abandoned.
This is a good film and was so good that the undersigned took the time to review it which is rare. The film is a good antidote to culture of lethal criminal greed and shallow pride. The film undermines what is called "cheap grace." The film is a welcome relief to the current culture and should be enjoyed.