Reverential portrayal of Fatima story

(From left) Jorge Lamelas, Alejandra Howard and Stephanie Gil in Fatima (IMDB)

Who would have anticipated a version of the 1917 Marian apparitions at Fatima on the big screen in 2020? Filmed in Portugal with an international cast, Fatima is a reverential portrayal of this true Catholic story. Source: ACOFB.

The movie portrays the experience of the three children – Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos – including the apparitions of Mary, the opposition to their claims of seeing her, the devoted pilgrims who believed them and the Miracle of the Sun event on October 13, 1917.

While there has been a recent increase in popularity of faith-films, audiences who don’t respond to faith-films will not be impressed by miracle stories like this. Interestingly, while the Internet Movie Database has many responses, some of them ridiculing the story as superstitious, many of those responding are older Catholics who are complaining about quite a number of details – the three secrets of Fatima, the conversion of Russia, the consecration of the world to Mary – that have not been explicitly included in the film.

The screenplay provides a framework set in 1989. A professor (Harvey Keitel) visiting the now Sr Lucia (Sonia Brag), aged in her 80s, at her Carmelite convent. The Professor asks the expected questions that might be rising in the minds of questioning audiences.

The 21st-century seems to be an age more sceptical about this kind of religious experience, so hallowed in the past. Here is an opportunity to give some consideration to the credibility, the question that there are more events and experiences than matter-of-fact realism believes in.

Review by Fr Peter Malone MSC, ACOFB

Fatima: Starring Stephanie Gil, Alejandra Howard, Jorge Lamelas, Joaquim De Almeida, Goran Visnjic, Lucia Moniz, Marco D' Almeida, Harvey Keitel, Sonia Braga. Directed by Marco Pontecorvo. 113 minutes. Rated M (Mature themes)

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Fatima (ACOFB)

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