In 1917, outside the parish of Fátima, Portugal, a 10-year-old 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 secularist government officials and Church leaders try to force the children to recant their story, word of the sighting spreads across the country, inspiring religious pilgrims to flock to the site in hopes of witnessing a miracle. What they experience will transform their quiet lives and bring the attention of a world yearning for peace. Based on real-life events and starring Joaquim de Almeida (“Queen of the South”), Goran Višnjić (Beginners), Stephanie Gil (Terminator: Dark Fate) and Lúcia Moniz (Love, Actually), with Sônia Braga (Aquarius) and Harvey Keitel (The Piano, The Irishman), Fatima is an uplifting story about the power of faith.
In this powerful and uplifting drama based on historical events, a 10-year-old shepherd and her two younger cousins inspire thousands of believers and anger officials of both the Catholic Church and the secularist government, who try to force them to recant their story.
Fatima poses profound questions to all viewers, regardless of their faith, and invites us to consider how childlike hope can help us through the darkest of times. It is especially compelling after all the suffering that the coronavirus pandemic has brought – How can this film speak to the felt needs that people are experiencing today.
Director Marco Pontecorvo comments “Actually I did this movie because I feel it is a very interesting story, the message inside is very important, it is a message of peace and it makes you think about your relationship with what is transcendent, your spirituality. It uses doubt as something like a tool, to arrive at what you think and what you feel. Plus I like a lot the human side of this story, the relationship between the mother, the daughter and the other mother. You see in all of the movie including when you see for the first time the three together. All this pushed me to do this movie and I think some of this will also arrive to the audience as it has arrived to me.”
Whatever you think of the respective explanations of the story, it is these sparky yet respectful discussions between sceptic and believer that make the film worthwhile, and will provide audiences with plenty of fodder for discussions once the credits roll. Ponder, for example, Sister Lucia’s pithy phrase, “faith begins at the edge of understanding”.
FATIMA – in cinemas and digital platforms on 25th June 2021. For tickets please visit www.fatimafilm.co.uk