Cabrini based on a true story

Cabrini based on a true story

The incredible and powerful true story of FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI, a woman who fought the establishment and became the greatest social entrepreneur of the 19th century.


Directed by Alejandro Monteverde (Sound of Freedom)  CABRINI shares the story of Francesca Cabrini, a poor, audacious Italian immigrant who became one of the great entrepreneurs of the 19th century. Through her willpower, courage, compassion, and business skill, she overcame sexism and violent anti-Italian bigotry while fighting against an establishment seeking to hold her back.


Francesca Cabrini was born in northern Italy in 1850. She and six of her Missionary Sisters set off for New York City in 1889. Despite poor health, barely any support from the Church and concerted efforts by New York's political elite to doom her efforts to failure, she wouldn't take no for an answer.


Over the course of 34 years, Mother Cabrini established an astonishing 67 hospitals, orphanages and schools.  And despite being old she wouldn't live past the age of 35, she passed away in 1917 at the age of 67.


Cabrini was canonized in 1946 by Pope Pius XII and became the first American citizen to be named a saint and is known as the Patron Saint of Immigrants.



DIRECTED BY…Alejandro Monteverde

STARRING…Cristiana Dell'Anna, John Lithgow, David Morse and Giancarlo Giannini

Rateing M

Running Time 145 minutes


"I wanted to CABRINI because it's an underdog styory on a truly epic scale - the store of one woman defying impossible odds in a world dominated by men.  Cabrini came to America with nothing - a woman at a time when women had no voice, an Italian at a time when Italians were considered the lowest of the low - and went on to build one of the greatest business empires the world had ever known.  She was the equal of Rockefeller, but with a difference.  Cabrini's empire benefited only the forgotten and the outcast.  This film explores the power of a woman's voice to overcome anything - from the most dangerous pimp in Five Points to the highest politician in New York.  Cabrini absolutely never, ever backed dow.  But Cabrini was also a nun - and I knew that my first challenge was to break the built-in prejudice against a hero who wears a habit. To do this, I conceived of CABRINI as a cinematic dance, an elevated, almost operatic experience that mirrors the epic power and audacity of the woman herself. Like Cabrini, I am an immigrant - and the film draws upon my deepest feelings about the immigrant experience. It is a truly epic story and I believe we have made an epic experience to match it - a film in the mold of Gandhi or Schindler's List"



When I was first approached to write CABRINI, the project was pitched as a movie about "the first American saint"" and I immediately turned it down. I had zero interest in writing something I assumed would be a pious film for a niche audience. Then I read about Cabrini herself and discovered, to my astonishment, an absolute powerhouse of a woman, a disruptor on every level, an immigrant who came to New York with nothing and built the largest humanitarian empire the world had ever known. In short, hers was the greatest underdog story I'd ever heard. It was a story about hope and determination and love - things we need so badly in these cynical and divided times. In order for these powerful themes to shine through, I had to write a script that blasted through the stereotypes of what it means to be a saint and a nun. To do this I wrote a story about a woman in a man's world, a woman who somehow built a multinational conglomerate at a time when women couldn't even vote. And Cabrini's "empire" was dedicated entirely to those at the margins, to the orphan and the immigrant with nothing. Her engine ran on love. I also knew I was writing about an immigrant - indeed the "Patron Saint of Immigrants" - at a time when immigration is among the most contentious issues in our national life. I kept one idea in front of me at all times: Cabrini is the patron saint of immigrants; she is not the patron saint of immigration. Immigration is a policy issue; the immigrant is a human being, and Cabrini was always and entirely focused on the suffering human being in front of her. Her message to us today is simple: look at the immigrant - look at everyone - first through the lens of love.


Review: With a blend of English and Italian, Cabrini tells the tale of an incredible compassionate Italian nun who become the most influencial entrepreneur of her time building a network of hospitals around the world. Cabrini follows Francesca Cabrini's sturggles in establishing her first hospital in America, how she overcame racism, sexism, relighious and political obstacles to build a hospital for the neglected Italian immigrants who were treated worse than rats in America. Enlightening and well worth a watch!



Copyright © 2001 -, a Company - All rights reserved.