Ever since I heard Steven D. Greydanus of Decentfilms.com review of the movie “The 13th Day” have been wanting to see it. This new film on Fatima was shot on a small budget, but you would never know it by the film itself.
Previously I have seen “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima ” the 1952 film by Warner Brothers. This previous film was enjoyable and surprisingly close to the true story, though it was certainly no great move. The 13th Day by contrast is a great movie. Just about every aspect of the film I enjoyed. The choice to film most of the film in black & white with occasionally use of color fit in perfectly with the village of Fatima and setting the tone – especially the use of shadows. The use of color for aspects of the apparitions really showed the miraculous and you almost feel you are seeing Our Lady as an apparition yourself. All without the feel of overdone computer generated effects.
I found the film to be almost sacramental as it tells the story of the three children in Fatima and how the appearance of Our Lady affected their lives along with all the people around them. The film has a direct simplicity while at the same time displaying things on a higher spiritual level. The acting is consistently good along with the writing. As someone who has read a good amount on Fatima and Sr. Lucia’s books there was nothing in the film off-putting . though it is much more of a “based on a true story” than a more documentary story telling.
As often with movies there are compressions and parts of the Fatima apparitions are not covered. For example the film starts with the first apparition of Mary and not the appearance of an Angel who gave Communion to the children. The final apparition covers the spinning of the Sun, but not the appearance of the Holy Family and Mary as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Available at Ignatius Press