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Bob at the Movies: ‘Fatima’

By Bob Garver

Like “The Secret: Dare to Dream” from a few weeks ago, “Fatima” has been sitting at the top of my cable system’s New Releases section for what seems like months now. Like “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” “Fatima” tells of a spiritual journey, though it’s a much more recognizable form of spirituality than the vague power of positive thinking at the center of “The Secret.” Eerily like “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” “Fatima” features an onscreen quote from Albert Einstein: “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Unlike “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” “Fatima” seems like an earnest filmmaking endeavor and not a hokey attempt to revive fledgling book sales.

The film tells the story of Lucia (Stephanie Gil), a 10-year-old girl living in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. As with the rest of Europe, this is a dark era for Fatima. Sons, husbands, and fathers are off fighting in World War I, and the mayor (Goran Visnjic) is forced to read off long monthly lists of soldiers killed or missing in action. Famine and disease are overtaking the population and prayers are going unanswered. This is not a good choice if you’re looking for a “fun” movie.

One day, Lucia and her cousins Francisco (Jorge Lamelas) and Jacinta (Alejandra Howard) are playing in a field when they see an apparition of the Virgin Mary (Joana Ribeiro). This is no dubious burn on a piece of toast, this is a full-on live-action deity, complete with white robes and a heavenly glow. She tells the children to come back to the same spot every month for the next six months, and she will appear to them,

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