“FATIMA”: a Review
The time has probably passed when films about faithful Catholics could be box-office hits, but Italian director Marco Pontecorvo has given his best to make one with Fatima.
This iteration of the story of the Marian apparitions scans almost as a remake of 1952’s The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, except for a flash-forward device involving a purported interview of the now elderly Sister Lúcia dos Santos by a noted journalist. The two are played by Brazilian actress Sônia Braga and the American Harvey Keitel: the saint and the skeptic.
It’s not a bad idea exactly, although their periodic exchanges, happening in the “present,” tend towards didacticism and do nothing to affect our sense of events in Portugal in 1917.
Those events, on the other hand, are beautifully shown in Fatima. Mr. Pontecorvo, who began his career as a cinematographer, has here collaborated with cameraman Vincenzo Carpineta to give us a very vivid Aljustrel, Lúcia’s hometown just outside of Fátima. (The film was shot entirely in Portugal.)