Scenery Nice, Rest of Movie Terrible. It is the Cinematic Expression of the NewFatima. The Reality of the Matter is MUCH more Interesting.

 


Well it happened. The new Fatima movie came out and it was as expected. I will admit that the scenery was very beautiful and the texture of the movie was worth seeing. The rest of the movie was awful. From the stiff and unconvincing acting of the adults to the uncharacteristic attitudes and looks of the 3 children, this was a "religious" movie stripped of the truly supernatural. It started with a 1989 interview with the fake Sister Lucy in which some man who seems like a left-wing sociologist presents questions to "Sister Lucy" that she is unable to answer. "Sister Lucy," who did not resemble the real Sister Lucy or the imposter Sister Lucy, fell into a fideism, being utterly able to challenge the cheap skepticism of the writer. So the first take from the movie, we have completely failed to penetrate the mass consciousness with regard to the falsified identity of Sister Lucy of Fatima. We are trying and we will try harder.

The biggest problem of the movie, other than the terrible and unrealistic acting --- why cannot they ever portray Portuguese shepherds as if they were Portuguese shepherds --- was the psychological aspect of the entire portrayal. We felt as if we were stuck in the psychology of Lucia and we were left close to the edge of saying that it was the "pious" psychology that shaped the "nice" Fatima message. The wonderful thing about Marian apparitions --- certainly with regard Fatima --- is that there is little or no psychological aspect to it.  The children identified what they had actually seen and heard and that was that. They did not budge from their account and they did not have psychological moments other than during the times they were actually having the known apparitions. Whether it was wandering around a church in the dark or seeing her soldier brother appear before her as if she was engrossed in a daydream/vision, we seem to be encouraged to wonder whether the apparitions were not just a more grand example of her pious daydreaming. While Lucia seems to wander around in uncertainty, her mother's over the top hostility dominates the first part of the film and produces a violently hostile attitude by most in the town against the children. 

In an apparent attempt to make it all more "nice," they did not have the Freemasonic administrator threaten to boil each child in oil or throw them in jail with ruffians from August 13th-15th, 1917. The interview with the bishop, portrayed as self-interested and evil, did not happen to my knowledge. 

The apparitions themselves were very poorly done as was the Miracle of the Sun. First, I thought that the figure portraying Our Lady was very creepy, getting way too close to the children. Her attitude was totally wrong. Lucia has said that she never saw Our Lady smiling during the apparitions, whereas this woman, with too much makeup on constantly smiles and almost jokes around. The attitude of the children also seems all wrong. From the pictures and Lucia's own account of the apparitions and their aftermath, the children were  brought to a somber state that reflected the warning and the solemnity of the Message which was conveyed to them. Jacinta's constant conveyance of what Our Lady was telling them to the crowd, was jarring and out of character for the children. There was a bit of Catholic religious content, Immaculate Heart, reparation, rosary, etc. Mostly it was "nice" content that focused on "peace." The appearance of the man/woman amidst the crowds as the Angel of Peace was strange and not how it happened. The vision, which was put forward by the Vatican as the "Third Secret," was incorporated into the movie, as a man "dressed in white" stepped over bodies as he and cardinal and bishops went up to a wooden cross to be shot by soldiers. In other words, there is no more controversy about the Secrets of Fatima. 

The portrayal of the Miracle of the Sun had none of the power and clarity that characterizes the real miracle. You are left questioning whether the external miracle could have been a manifestation of "positive thinking" on the part of the crowd, rather than certainly being an event meant to shake up and convert. 

Of course, the cut and paste pictures of Paul VI and "Sister Lucy" were shown in front of the notorious covered camera, along with the wretched picture of "Sister Lucy" receiving communion from John Paul II.  

Ultimately, we are left with a bland feeling of "niceness." in which any non-Catholic who sees the movie can say "that's nice for them," AND TAKE NO FURTHER NOTICE. Wait until the real story gets out. Realism produces Piety and Piety produces Realism. We don't want to be "nice," we want to be truthful, good, and charitable.

Comments

  1. I only saw the trailer and immediately was repelled by the 21st century depiction of these isolated, rural peasant children. The film-makers did not come close to capturing the spirit of pre-modern village children. I lived among the Amish for years and observed their children first hand on numerous occasions. They are nothing like modern children who are so animated; like trained thespians. In front of a visitor, Amish children are nearly mute observers. Their eyes are filled with curiosity but they are in their own world completely, with only a gossamer bridge to the adult realm. Like almost all rural late 19th and early 20th century juveniles, they are fully ensconced in the dream of childhood where a summer day lasts for eternity. Nothing electronic, digital or electrical has invaded their world to unnaturally transport them out of it.
    The children in the new Fatima movie, if the trailer is any evidence, are merely 21st century transplants onto an antiquarian movie set, completely lacking the demeanor and attitude of pre-modern children.
    It would take a Mel Gibson to do justice to this subject; assuming that is even possible. All cinema involves a degree of make-believe and apparitional youth like Lucia and St. Bernadette probably cannot be accurately approached through film, much as our post-modern hungering for the visual demands it. We should seek to recover the ability to make pictures in our minds from the text we read, and repel our incessant appetite for “the society of the spectacle."

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