If you’re looking for the movie that is the “Anti-Cutie” Fatima is it.
Fatima tells of the Apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima Portugal during mid 1917 to three children. The disbelief of both the church and local officials of this story and the final conclusion of the “Miracle of the Sun” witnessed by the thousands who came to see the promised miracle.
The story of three children Lucia (Stephanie Gill) Jacinta (Alejanda Howard and her brother Francisco (Francisco) is told through a series of flashbacks as an author and skeptic Professor Nichols (Harvey Keitel) visits the adult Sr. Lucia (Sonia Braga) at her cloistered convent as part of a book he is writing.
There are solid performances here. All the child actors are excellent. Joaquim de Almeida (Father Ferreira) is excellent as the parish priest, Lucia Moniz as Lucia’s mother the faithful catholic who doubts her daughter is particularly good and the interplay between the Mayor(a staunch atheist trying to defend his position and his wife the faithful catholic is extremely interesting and well done.
For myself it’s the little dramatic things that resonated with me. Lucia recognizing the temptation and presence of the Devil when she is feeling pride the crowds wanting “the seers”. The anger of a mother who had lost a son (the movie takes place during World War 1) demanding answers as to why HER faithful prayers are not answered. The realization of what happens to your fields of crops when hundreds tramp on them to get to a site and the child and man hawking Rosaries at the site of the apparition illustrate human nature in action.
The story is pretty faithful to historical events from the appearance of the Angel of Peace and Portugal (Ivone Fernandes-Jesus) to the pushback and persecution that the children get to the point where they are held by the civil government to prevent visiting “the lady of the Rosary” (Joana Ribeiro) as they are considered a threat to the atheistic government of Portugal at the time. The irony is what is left out, [Minor Spoiler] particularly in the finale where my wife and I both noted that the single tangible physical miracle of that final day is completely skipped [/spoiler] as is at least one of the visits and parts of the message of our lady.
That is the only nitpik for the faithful and the only reason for the secular woke left to cheer. That a movie like this which promotes the promises of our Lady and the hope they can bring is coming out at a time of an international pandemic, civil unrest in the US is huge.
That a movie that promote three pious children and how they suffer for their obedience and piety it comes out at the same time as Netflix and critics are pushing “Cuties” a movie that exploits young girls sexuality to the delight of the critics and the establishment left as legitimate entertainment is, in my opinion, the hand of God.
4 1/2 out of five