by Ian and Dominic Higgins
90 minutes, Not rated
The Higgins brothers are the same British filmmakers who produced the Fatima drama “The 13th Day”, “Finding Fatima” is a docu-drama about the apparitions which capitalizes on the interest their earlier film evoked by answering many of the questions left unanswered by the earlier film. They make a perfect companion set. They both have the unique chiaroscuro tint, and enough drama to keep the casual viewer interested.
In several interviews with Fatima experts like Fr Andrew Apostoli, relatives of eyewitnesses and the Fatima seers themselves, and dramatic recreations of eyewitness accounts illustrated with film clips, the actual events of the apparitions are described in a captivating way while providing the details which educate the viewer about that apparitions. Even if you have watched many films about Fatima, you will learn more about the apparitions, for example; the reaction of the children and their families to the apparitions, testimonies from the eyewitnesses of the Miracle of the Sun, the anti-Catholic political climate of Portugal in 1917, and the amazing impact of devotion to Our Lady of Fatima around the world.
The fascinating interaction of the most famous Marian Apparition of the 20th century with its historical context is explored in greater detail than in other films I have seen, in fact the film opens in an unexpected place; Hiroshima Japan on the day the first atomic bomb was dropped, sparing six German priests who attributed the miracle to living the messages of Fatima. This film explains how six apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a remote Portuguese village had an unprecedented impact on world wars, and especially upon the life of Blessed John Paul who said, “the message of Fatima is even more relevant today than it was in 1917”. This week marks the 30th anniversary of the attempt on his life, which many feel was thwarted by a miracle wrought by Our Lady’s hand.
What relevance do the Fatima messages have for us? Certainly offenses against the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts have increased exponentially in the past 94 years and Our Lady’s predictions about the spread of communism, the persecution of the Church and in particular the Holy Father have come true in our times. So Our Lady of Fatima’s call to prayer, penance, and conversion is more urgent than ever, yet there is even more reason to believe in the timeliness of these messages and to learn more about them. This film provides a modern means to share this life changing message with those who may not be moved by the traditional religious documentary. It also contains aspects of the apparitions which earlier documentaries do not cover.
One little explored aspect of Fatima is the connection Fatima has with Muslims. Perhaps one of the most relevant aspects of Fatima for our times; is the fact that many Muslims are drawn to Fatima. This was all in God’s plan, according to Archbishop Fulton Sheen who said, “Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the blessed Virgin chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Muslim people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too.”
I once met a Muslim leader at a Marian conference who said, “I have to know more about St Fatima, I have a statue of her in my home “( he was referring to Our Lady of Fatima) The gentleman finished the conference by breaking down in tears as he was prayed over by a priest. He seemed to be on the road to conversion. Could Fatima contain the secret to World Peace? Would adherence to the call of Fatima bring about the end of terrorism, the scourge of our times?
An excellent film for family movie night, though some of the recreation of the atomic bomb, hell and war torn Europe may be disturbing for children younger than 8 years. Highly recommended.
Copyright 2011 Leticia Velasquez