Well, I had intended on starting my reviews with a resource devoted to the reported apparitions at Medjugorje, but Friday night was presented with the opportunity to watch a resource about the apparitions at Fatima. Since the reported apparitions at Medjugorje are supposedly a continuation of what Our Lady promised at Fatima, I guess this is a good way to kick off the reviews!
A ministry at my church Friday night offered a viewing of a movie titled The 13th Day. Here is a summary and my review. Click the image below to watch the movie trailer.
Good resource for:
Those new or experienced with Fatima or Medjugorje apparitions.
The 13th Day is a film about the six reported apparitions of Our Lady, between May 13th and October 13th of 1917, to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. It is based upon the memoirs of Lucia Dos Santos, one of the children who later became a Carmelite Nun and who passed away just four years ago. She was the last surviving Fatima visionary.
The movie is presented as a narrative by Sister Lucia - 15 years after the apparitions - as she writes from her convent and recalls the experiences she and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, shared those six months. The story starts a day or two prior to the apparitions and takes viewers through the first days of the apparitions, the trials she and her cousins suffered - including death threats and imprisonment by Portugese authorities - and the secrets relayed by Our Lady to the children (the rise of Russia, the coming of World War II, the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II). It concludes with the final apparition, during which Our Lady gave a miraculous sign to the roughly 70,000 people who had gathered in Fatima that day.
The film is mostly in black and white, with color mixed in for dramatic effect when Our Lady appears to the children and when the miraculous sign (the Sun spinning in the sky and plummeting toward Earth) occurs. While I'm not a trained film critic, I would classify the movie as having an early-20th Century style (kind of 1940's-ish).
One new thing I learned: Jacinta Marto, who passed away at the age of 10 from an influenza epidemic in 1918, had her body exhumed 15 years after the apparitions. Her body was found to be incorrupt.
Why this is a good resource: It has been over 90 years since the amazing events of Fatima occurred. Much has been written about them, but this is probably one of the best dramatic representations available
Final thoughts: Younger audiences may find the acting to be a little "cheesy". Mel Gibson set the bar very high on religious films with Passion of The Christ because he had a large budget and could afford top-quality talent. The 13th Day was obviously created with a much lower budget but I think the directors still did a good job of relaying the overall message and the movie holds value as a resource about the messages God is trying to give us through Our Lady. Watch this with an open heart and remember it is a good thing the Fatima apparitions are being retold, as they were (and still are) so important.