Louie Verrecchio
Fatima the movie: A review
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By Louie Verrecchio
September 10, 2020

Originally slated for release in 2017 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s appearances in Portugal, the movie simply named, Fatima, is finally available in theaters and streaming on-demand.

According to producer Natasha Howes, as reported in the Press Notes provided to the media by the filmmakers, “Part of my role on this film was to ensure that we retained the historical authenticity of the story.”

Speaking of Howes’ expertise, Dick Lyles, whose Origin Entertainment began the undertaking, said:

    We had the pleasure of working with Natasha on a previous Origin project and her keen understanding of the story and deep roots into this community made her an integral member of our team.

The Press Notes add:

    With the help of Howes’ unique knowledge and expertise, the filmmakers wove some lesser known details into the narrative and corrected a number of longstanding misapprehensions.

Historical authenticity… Keen understanding… Unique knowledge… Lesser known details…

In spite of these lofty words of praise for the producer and the high expectations they invite, Fatima – as the review to follow demonstrates – is about as historically accurate as the Broadway production, Hamilton. What’s more, it gives every appearance of having been deliberately crafted to play to precisely the same audience; namely, left-leaning social malcontents with an appetite for quasi-historical fiction that serves to validate a distorted worldview that is divorced from objective reality.

NOTE: The following review is not concerned with the entirety of the screenplay, but rather is limited to certain key portions of the supernatural events that took place in Fatima, Portugal and the degree to which the movie “retained the historical authenticity of the story,” as the filmmakers suggest.

The movie opens with young Lucia in a cave by herself having an encounter with the Angel of Peace, who leads her to recite in prayer, “I believe. I have hope. I love God.”

At the conclusion to this prayer, the angel instructs Lucia, “Pray for peace.”

Already, the filmmakers have shown their hand; clearly, they intend to take great liberties with the contents of Sr. Lucia’s memoirs, which they claim as the source for their scripting of her miraculous encounters, in order to water down – that is, to make politically correct – its actual message.

One notes Sr. Lucia’s description of the angel as recorded in her own words:

    It was a young man, about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty. We were surprised, absorbed, and struck dumb with amazement.

Did you get that? A young man…

In the film, not only is the angel portrayed as a dark, shadowy, and drably dressed figure, the role is played by a female, 28-year-old Ivone Fernandes-Jesus. Even this, however, is not evident in the scene as the “being” (for lack of a better word) appears androgenous, leaving the viewer to wonder if it’s a young woman or perhaps a gender confused teenaged boy. How very Hollywood!

And then there’s the prayer itself, which according to Sr. Lucia’s memoirs actually reads:

    My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You. [Emphasis added]

Ah, but you see, one cannot hope to achieve box office success while daring to suggest (as the messenger of the Almighty actually did) that unbelievers are in need of God’s pardon!

The same PC filter was also applied to the words of Our Lady at her first appearance to the three young seers. Missing entirely from the film is her response to Lucia concerning a departed friend, whom the Blessed Virgin says, “will be in Purgatory until the end of time.”

The reason is obvious; the filmmakers are making a deliberate effort to eliminate as much Catholicism from the story as possible.

Also missing from this scene are Our Lady’s words about the suffering that “He [God] wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of sinners.”

During the scene leading up to Our Lady’s second appearance on June 13, 1917, Lucia, who along with Jacinta and Francisco was followed to the Cova da Iria by a small group of pious persons, is shown to be basking in the glory of their attention. This is not the only place in the film where little Lucia is depicted as such.

In reality, however, she was a serious child who suffered greatly thanks to the derision she endured for having faithfully witnessed to the miraculous appearance of Our Lady. As she wrote in her memoirs referring to the day of the final apparition:

    Thank God, human respect and self- love were, at that time, still unknown to me.

When Our Lady appears in the scene depicting her second appearance in the film, the first words that she speaks are so odd that even a heretic would object.

“It pleases me that you’ve been praying for me,” she says.

Now, why would the children be praying for the Blessed Virgin Mary? Are we to imagine that she is but a common sinner? Stay tuned…

If one were to identify the central purpose of the Fatima apparitions, it could be summed up in the following words of Our Lady as spoken directly to Lucia during her appearance of June 13, 1917:

    Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne. [Emphasis added]

The closest the film comes to relaying this message is when Our Lady tells Lucia, “Jesus has chosen you. You are going to be the messenger of faith in Mary’s Immaculate Heart.”

To be clear, the difference between “faith in” and devotion to is substantial; even the demons believe, what they lack is devotion. One also notes that the promise of salvation that is attached to devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was also left out.

During the July 13, 1917 apparition, the children received the vision of Hell and the vision that is attached to the Third Secret. The film does a somewhat reasonable job of portraying the vision of Hell. However, with regard to the latter there are a number of things that stand out as very troublesome.

Though it may hardly be necessary for most readers of this space, recall that immediately following the vision of Hell, Our Lady explains:

    You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go.

The filmmakers provide these words accurately enough, but they chose to leave out the sentence immediately following:

    To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.

Once again, we see that the central purpose of the apparitions is being overlooked, and along with it the relationship between salvation and devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Note that Our Lady repeated this message in consecutive months, making its importance all the more plain, and yet the filmmakers evidently decided that it’s really not so important after all.

As recorded by Sr. Lucia, Our Lady then immediately said:

    If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

    To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.

The filmmakers’ version of this scene provides no mention whatsoever of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nor does it mention the first Saturday devotions and the Communion of Reparation.

Can it even be said that a film in which these do not feature prominently is truly about the Fatima apparitions at all?

In the film’s version of events, Our Lady, following the vision of Hell, simply says:

    If we do not stop insulting God, there will be a war worse than this one.

Yes, you read that correctly; she said, “If we do not stop…” Maybe this is why the children were supposedly praying for Our Lady.

In any case, this is a direct invitation to heresy (i.e., a denial of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception and her sinlessness) for which the so-called “Catholic” contributors to the film – including Dick Lyles, the head of Origin Entertainment – should be deeply ashamed.

By a war worse than this one, it is obvious enough that this refers to WWII, which, as foretold by Our Lady, did indeed break out during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI. In the film, after this statement, the children are immediately given the vision attached to the Third Secret, which unfolds within a war scene.

This is highly problematic inasmuch as it invites confusion among certain viewers who are likely to connect the two events; i.e., they will presume that the children were shown a pope being assassinated during WWII.

This, it seems to me, may not have been an oversight on the part of the filmmakers, but rather a deliberate attempt to provide viewers with enough leeway to conclude whatever they wish, objective truth be damned.

Recall that in the film, just prior to this vision of a pope being killed during a war, Our Lady says, “If we do not stop insulting God, there will be a war worse than this one.” This creates conditions that are ripe for misunderstanding.

With this in mind, let's take a look at this scene through the eyes of the uninitiated, a demographic that the filmmakers are admittedly and specifically targeting.

WWII obviously happened. This suggests that humanity did not stop insulting God, at least not in time.

The assassination of the pope, however, obviously did not (and has not) happened. What this suggests is that humanity, at some point after the war had begun, had ceased to insult God.

Now, why would the filmmakers wish to paint such a convoluted picture?

God alone knows for sure, but one may find it noteworthy that among those involved in promoting the film is the World Apostolate of Fatima, the former Blue Army, which is a vocal proponent of the Vatican’s official (and diabolically deceptive) narrative, including the utterly false claim that the consecration of Russia has indeed been accomplished.

In spite of the fact that the filmmakers dared not mention the consecration of Russia at all, could it be that they are happy enough just to lead viewers to conclude that the conditions set forth by Our Lady at Fatima, whatever they were, have been fulfilled?

It certainly seems that way.

Imagine, people of faith (allegedly) creating a film that implies that mankind has stopped insulting God even as the Holy Name of Jesus Christ is verboten in the halls of power, the LGBT agenda is spreading throughout the world like wildfire, and tens of millions of human beings are slaughtered year in and year out by abortion.

As far as the apparitions are concerned, the film moves on to October 13, 1917 – the final appearance of Our Lady at Cova da Iria – and the great Miracle of the Sun.

In terms of special effects, in spite of the missteps and errors already noted, I was a bit surprised that the filmmakers didn’t put more effort into recreating the sun’s movement in the sky as noted by so many eyewitnesses to the event. Then again, neither did they devote considerable resources to recreating what Sr. Lucia recorded in her memoirs concerning Our Lady’s appearances:

    …there before us on a small holmoak, we beheld a Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than the sun, and radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass filled with sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it.

In all of her memoir entries concerning each of Our Lady’s appearances, the Mother of God is said have manifested “on the holmoak” as described above.

In spite of this detailed firsthand account provided by the seer, the filmmakers chose to depict Our Lady as an ordinary woman, in ordinary dress, walking barefoot on the dirt toward the children. When she appears in the final apparition scene, she is depicted as sauntering up, once again barefoot, slogging her way through a puddle, which in addition being inaccurate, is disturbing in terms of the veneration due to the Mother of God.

If the intention was to downplay to the greatest extent possible the supernatural nature of the event, as well as the extraordinary graces singularly bestowed by God upon the Blessed Virgin, the filmmakers succeeded.

Also perplexing, though less important, is that the film did not highlight the fact that the sopping wet clothing of the people who were present during the torrential downpour that preceded the miracle, as well as the rain drenched ground, had dried instantly when the sun inexplicably moved about the sky.

In conclusion, it is difficult to comprehend the unmitigated gall of these filmmakers, men and women who took it upon themselves to play fast and loose with the message that was miraculously delivered to humanity by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.

Then again, all indications are that the “Catholic” contribution to this project came from persons who are firmly entrenched in the Novus Ordo counterchurch. As such, they evidently learned how to twist, misappropriate, and deny Our Lady’s words from the most accomplished of Fatima conmen – Karol Wojtyla, Josef Ratzinger and Angelo Sodano.

© Louie Verrecchio

 

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