Moving film about true events that changed and are still changing the history of the world!
The movie FATIMA (1997) is an average film, does not draw viewers' attention thanks to great celebrities and crew. Its content, however, make it a must-see for all people who have not yet lost faith in God. To understand the movie, it is crucial to note purely historical events of Fatima. Therefore, my comments will relate to the movie as well as to the whole story.
Portugal, in the past, a great colonial power, the conqueror of faraway exotic lands ... all riches and power passed like a wind and the conquests appeared not to have brought any good to the country. There was, however, a turning point for Portuguese history: a memorable year of 1917 and miraculous events that took place about 80 miles northwards from Lisbon, in Fatima. These events, that are the major topic of Fabrizio Costa's movie occurred to be God's light for Portugal, Europe, and the whole world, including, for some time communist, Russia.
May, the 13th, 1917; three little shepherd children, Lucia (Vanessa Antunes), Jacinta (Vanessa Staiss) and Francisco (Filipe Carvalho) see a Beautiful Lady who claims to come from heaven. She tells them a mystery about later history of the world and calls for prayer and penance. Although children are persecuted and mocked, they come to the very place on every 13th of each month and the popularity of these miracles spreads. They are arrested by municipal authorities (consider a touching moment of a prayer in a prison cell), mocked by journalists; however, all changes on the memorable 13th of October...
The movie does not only concentrate on the history of the children but it also accurately presents the Portuguese reality of the early 20th century. The country experiences the cruelty of WWI, atheist government, and dangers for the Church. There are, however, people who believe in the God and listen to the message that Virgin Mary conveys through Lucia. I particularly liked the story of Margarida (Catarina Furtado) and Dario (Diogo Infante). There is one dilemma in their relationship: he is an atheist. I loved the words said by Margarida to him: "If you believe in love, you cannot reject what you find here."
There is also a clear reference to Portuguese culture, especially its music. A traditional music, Fado, can be appreciated throughout. As a result, the movie offers a wonderful look at the beautiful culture of this faraway country, the most western one in Europe.
The end of the movie, however, is not fully satisfactory; perhaps because it was made in 1997 when still not much was revealed. It shows the death of Francisco (04.04.1919) and a moving scene of Jacinta taken to hospital (died 20.02.1920). Later events are crucial for better understanding of Fatima and I would like to entail some of them below:
1930, October, the 13th: Fatima is officially proclaimed true by the Church;
1934: Lucia vows in the Order of St Dorothy,
1935: Jacinta's tomb is opened and her body occurs untouched;
1939-1945: Portugal does not suffer from WWII as the Lady promised;
1948: Lucia vows in the Carmelite Order in Coimbra. From this moment, she is known to the world as the only great witness of Fatima Apparitions.
1981, May 13th: attempt on the life of John Paul II on St Peter's Square. From that day, he deeply believes that the Mother of God saved his life (the Pope visits Fatima in 1982, 1991, 2000 and each time he meets with Sister Lucia);
1989: downfall of communism, as the Lady prophesied, and Russia open again for spiritual growth;
2000: Lucia's cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto beatified by John Paul II in Fatima ... 93 year-old Lucia present on the Holy Mass;
2005, February 13th: Sister Lucia is born to eternal life...
You can be skeptical about what you see in this movie, in most extreme cases, you can even mock it, but Fatima's message will always have an impact on world's fate. We all should thank God for these events, for the long life of Sister Lucia, and, most importantly, for the constant victory of the Immaculate Heart. As Vittorio Messori, an Italian journalist, wrote in "Corriere Della Sera": the death of sister Lucia did not bring Fatima to a closed page of history, but "opened it to new, unknown horizons..."
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