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Cabrini Review | A Powerfully Emotional Religious Biopic

by Xtreme HD IPTV


  • Cabrini
    is a raw, powerful movie about poverty, faith, and compassion, shining light on overlooked immigrant struggles.
  • Cristiana Dell’Anna delivers a star-making performance as Mother Cabrini, embodying toughness and virtue.
  • Mother Cabrini’s story of resilience and mercy carries a timeless message of benevolence and compassion.

Cabrini tells a powerfully emotional true story of a resilient woman who saved countless orphaned children through kindness, dogged determination, and irrepressible religious faith. Her beatified name adorns institutions worldwide that continue to carry on a devout legacy of humanism. But Mother Cabrini’s journey to sainthood began in the appalling slums of 19th century Five Points, Manhattan, where Italian immigrants were treated “worse than rats” and the bodies of the neglected poor littered the streets. She overcame deplorable racism, sexism, and xenophobia to fulfill a mission of desperately needed mercy. Your heart will swell as a captivating film addresses issues that continue to divide American society today.

Maria Francesca Cabrini (Cristiana Dell’Anna) writes letters to Pope Leo XIII (Giancarlo Giannini) from her orphanage in Lombardy, Italy. A nun who founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Cabrini had fought seemingly insurmountable odds since a childhood in abject poverty. She suffered chronic lung degradation after nearly drowning as a teen. Cabrini had a vision of opening orphanages to save starving children in China. A dream rebuked by the patriarchal Vatican that thought little of a woman’s contribution to Catholic service.

Mother Cabrini travels to Rome to address the pope directly. Her bold move is a sign of insolence to the ruling cardinals. Pope Leo XIII surprises Mother Cabrini with a new directive. He shares letters from Italian immigrants in New York City. The expected “streets of gold” were filled with despair and cruel racial animosity. Italians were subjugated as inferior invaders. They faced prejudice and violent reprisals. The pope orders her to go west before going east. Their people were in crisis across the sea.

The Deplorable Conditions of the Working Class




Release Date
March 8, 2024

Alejandro Monteverde

Alejandro Monteverde , Rod Barr


  • Cabrini is a raw, powerful movie about poverty, immigration, faith, and compassion.
  • Cristiana Dell’Anna delivers a star-making performance as Mother Cabrini.
  • Alejandro Monteverde continues to be a reliable, interesting director.

The fellowship of sisters arrive in New York City on March 31, 1889. No one is there to receive them. Mother Cabrini’s horrified by the disgusting, filthy streets and ramshackle shacks built of tin scraps. Irish Archbishop Michael Corrigan (David Morse) coldly tells her to return to Italy. He’d sent a letter before she left Italy to cancel their trip. Mother Cabrini refuses to leave. Her mission was ordered directly by the pope. She demands to be taken to the orphanage in Five Points. The sisters are aghast at its deplorable, rat-filled state. Mother Cabrini counsels the sisters to look at the hopelessness that surrounds them. These are the people they are here to save.

Related: Best Movies About the Immigrant Experience, Ranked

Director Alejandro Monteverde (Bella, Sound of Freedom) delivers a gut punch in a harrowing opening scene. The awful reality of New York immigrant life is shown with unvarnished realism. Hunger, fear, and criminality rule the city’s neglected. Mother Cabrini, already well-versed in suffering, is astonished at the church’s appalling response to Italian immigrant woes. She gets her first lesson in government corruption and the iron fist of the city’s ruthless mayor (John Lithgow).

Alejandro Monteverde Masterfully Directs Cabrini

Monteverde’s script, his second collaboration with Sound of Freedom writer Rod Barr, portrays Cabrini as a quick learner and no fool. She clearly understands that people look down on her as an Italian and a woman, but arrogance leads to underestimation. Her refusal to be denied becomes a proven tactic.

Cabrini’s brilliant production design is key to the narrative’s success. Monteverde’s depiction of the Vatican and New York City contrasts wealth disparity. Opulent churches with ornate sculptures and pompous clergy are a far cry from children in dirty rags living in sewers. The moneyed upper class of Midtown and the Upper West Side never had to interact with lowly immigrants. They were a scourge to be ignored and vilified.

Mother Cabrini, in her stark black nun’s habit, shines a light in dark corners. Monteverde uses long tracking shots, sweeping camera angles, and direct focus to capture sorrow. Mother Cabrini leads a poignant funeral procession for a dead girl. Those who hate them must see the true state of the oppressed.

Cristiana Dell’Anna Gives a Star-Making Performance

Cabrini doesn’t overwhelm with misery. Monteverde smartly tugs heartstrings in both directions. He shows the direct impact on the despondent in her care. Two critical supporting characters are the primary vehicles for growth. Vittoria (Romana Maggiora Vergano), a sex worker controlled by a merciless pimp, and Paolo (Federico Ielapi), an angry young orphan, have tremendous character arcs that add context to Mother Cabrini’s efforts. We witness a positive change for the better, and the ardent desire to pass on the kindness generously bestowed. These are the best tenets of faith. There’s no preachy religious dogma uncritically glorifying Catholicism.

Italian actress Cristiana Dell’Anna is wondrous to behold in a star-making lead performance. Mother Cabrini is a highly nuanced character. She’s tough as nails, but not guarded in any sense. Her virtues aligned with steadfast action. There’s also an important physical component to Dell’Anna’s portrayal. Mother Cabrini was infirm, but never allowed a perceived weakness from detractors to control her destiny. Dell’Anna’s vocal and facial inflections, particularly her piercing eyes, reflect an indomitable spirit. She evokes an air of calmness and fortitude that bolsters everyone in her presence. Hollywood should take notice of a formidable talent.

Immigration problems haven’t abated since the events of the film. The public discourse is, unfortunately, still ugly and vitriolic. Monteverde’s not making a political statement here. Mother Cabrini’s philanthropic contributions deserve a big screen adaptation. The lesson here is benevolence and compassion. Those seeking a better life aren’t faceless enemies to be indiscriminately loathed.

Cabrini is a production of Francesca Film Production NY, Lupin Film, and Lodigiano Film Development Inc. It will be released theatrically on March 8th from Angel Studios. You can watch the trailer below:

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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