FATIMA (1997 TV Movie) PG
Directed by-Fabrizio Costa
Writing Credits (in alphabetical order):Ennio De Concini Mario Falcone Paolo Festuccia
CAST:DURATION1 hour 46 minutesLANGUAGEEnglishMay the 13th, 1917; three little shepherd children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco 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 the children are persecuted and mocked, they come to the meeting place every 13th of each month and the popularity of the miracles spreads. They are arrested by municipal authorities, 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 WW I, atheist government, and dangers for the Church. There are however, people who believe in God and listen to the message that the Virgin Mary conveys through Lucia.
Joaquim de Almeida − Avelino de Almeida (Editor-in-Chief of the Portuguese newspaper O Século)
Catarina Furtado − Margarida (a singer at a club, but has a strong faith in God)
Diogo Infante − Dário (good friend of Avelino---son of a rich businessman---he is an atheist)
Vanessa Antunes − Lúcia de Jesus dos Santos (the oldest among the three children and the last to die)
Vanessa Staiss − Jacinta Marto (and yes, my friends, the J is pronounced the way J is pronounced in the English alphabet---I mentioned this because others thought---not necessarily the audience last night---that they were just pronouncing her name that way because the movie is in English)
Filipe Carvalho − Francisco Marto (Jacinta's older brother)
Pedro André − António (not the father of Lucia, but her admirer)the stutterer
Carlos Santos − ‘The Tinsmith’, the Mayor of Vila Nova de Ourem
Randi Ingerman − Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Fernando Nascimento − Don Manuel (Priest)
Omero Antunutti − Don Luis (Priest)
Maria d'Aires − Maria Rosa, Lucia's mother
This year marks the hundredth anniversary(Centenary/Centennial) of the apparition of Our of Lady of Fatima. In line with this, the JDHP Prayer Community's Core Group presented to the rest of the Community this 20-year-old TV movie. As always, they also prepared snacks and drinks for everyone.
I learned of the story of Our Lady of Fatima while growing up, but I still became a born again Christian after, which I really don't regret unlike some decisions I have made of late. Even when I was in the other fold, it's a story that fascinated me because a lot of people witnessed the miracle of Fatima(Dancing Sun) as accounted by Avelino de Almeida(portrayed by Joaquim de Almeida in the 1997 version), Editor-in-Chief of the Portuguese newspaper O Século, who was a skeptic before witnessing the "event" himself.
Nothing beats the original movie version, not even the Hollywood 1952 classic by Warner Bros. that disappointed Soror Lucia when she saw it. She approved of the 1991 version called Aparição. The three children who played Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta even reprised their roles for Pope John Paul II(now St. John Paul the Great) wearing their costumes when he visited Fatima.
This version is trying to be true to the historical facts, but you couldn't help, but wonder if the lovestory of Dario and Margarida is fictitious like Hugo in the 1952 version presented by Warner Bros. There were similar characters in other versions all over the world, but the character Dario in this movie who was maligned by critics(the character only, not the actor), made the altar at the Apparition site at the Cova da Iria. Did he or did he not?
This movie is produced by the PAULINES so I suppose they researched this well because it is one of their specializations and charisms. If the two are indeed fictitious characters, it does not matter. What matters is how the three ILLITERATE children were able to teach people things only THEOLOGIANS have studied FOR YEARS.
The conservatives, perhaps, shun the thought of a romantic kissing scene between Furtado and Infante, but in my opinion, it was done in good taste. The unimportant scene according to one reviewer is, for me, important, because it is between a believer and an atheist.
Anyways, here are some scenes changed in the movie:
NOT included in the movie, but very vital in history according to Author Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland(they could have narrated about these with real footage, in my opinion---lmv):On August 13, when they were abducted by ‘The Tinsmith’, the Mayor of Vila Nova de Ourem, it was Jacinta, locked with her brother and cousin among hardened criminals in a cell(just like a Filipino movie made for TV I watched some years back---in this movie's version, it was Lucia who did this), who brought the prisoners to their knees by having a medal hung on the wall and praying before it. Her only thought when threatened with being boiled in oil (a threat taken quite seriously since Our Lady had said She would come for them soon) was that it meant they would soon see Our Lady again.On August 19, when Our Lady compensated for the missed rendezvous in the Cova on the 13th by surprising them on the roadside in Valinhos, the ‘little valley’, between Aljustrel and the Cabeço, we detect clearly that the appearance of Our Lady, though sensibly announced as impending to Lucy, was actually delayed until Jacinta was present, a proof of her role that can be recognized as unique in all the other instances of the apparitions as well. Yet never failing to respond to the natural impulses of childhood, she raced home from Valinhos with a branch of the tree on which Our Lady stood to prove through its fragrance of roses that, yes, The Lady had come to console them for their having been forced to miss the August 13 appointment in the Cova.At Valinhos Our Lady gave them a mandate that dominated the remainder of Jacinta’s life. “Pray, pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.” In those words we have the very blueprint for the child Jacinta’s destiny. -excerpts from THE FATIMA CRUSADER
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(uncorrupted);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...