Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is way is as though everything is a miracle.
Based on the real life event and directed/written by Marco Pontecorvo, the story focuses outside the parish of Fátima, Portugal, where a young girl and her two younger cousins witness multiple visitations of the Virgin Mary, who tells them that only prayer and suffering will bring an end to World War I. As government officials and Church leaders attempt to force these children into recanting their story, word of the sighting spreads across the country, inspiring thousands to flock to the site in hopes of witnessing a miracle. Lúcia Moniz is splendid and does a remarkable job literally carrying the film on her shoulders. The most impressive scenes are those simply focused on her innocent, impressionable face with not a single syllable being uttered. In my opinion, is a true testament of talent beyond the page.
On October 13th 1917, around 70,000 people, believers and non-believers, witnessed an extraordinary phenomenon called “The Miracle of the Sun.” Like most who are not believed, she was shunned, laughed at and treated dispicably. Very much like Moses and Jesus when they tried to warn humanity that their actions in life would come with dire consequences. In this instance, it literally was a sign from God where the sun looked as though it would explode onto the earth.
As I watched this film, I couldn’t help be reminded of how eerily reminiscent the film is to what the world is experiencing right now with the Coronavirus, the economy and the social/racial unrest globally. After the citing in 1917, both Jacinto and Francisco (Lucia’s parents) were victims of the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918, which killed millions throughout Europe. Shortly afterwards, Lúcia de Jesus committed to her religious life and entered into the Carmel of Saint Theresa an Coimbra in 1948, where she died in 2005 at 97 years of age.
The film was purposely shot in muted grey, browns, green and blue to illustrate the dire mood of the moment and worked well to not distract from the narrative. It goes without saying that if you were gonna select a soundtrack voice, Andrea Bocelli was definitely the perfect choice featuring the Original Song “Gratia Plena” performed by Bocelli and composed by Paolo Buonvino.
Fátima will make you pause and think about where we are in humanity and if we have indeed gone too far or not gone far enough. Judge for yourself as Fátima is available right now.