Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 13th Day.

When I was a child, our family had, in our home, three pieces of religious "art" given to us - I believe - by my paternal grandmother. These three pieces consisted of a large copy of the Last Supper and two paintings laminated (for lack of a better word) onto cedar; one was a portrait of Christ, the other an idealized portrait of the three children of Fatima with the Blessed Mother.

The Last Supper portrait, which hung in our dining room, now hangs in my sister's home. The portrait of Jesus laminated on cedar, which we kept in the living room, has disappeared. The Fatima portrait, which - mostly - hung in the bedroom I shared with one of my brothers, now hangs in my home.

I suppose growing up with the picture of the miracle of Fatima in my bedroom has had some influence on me. I have a connection with that particular miracle more than, say, the miracles at Lourdes or La Salette. As a matter of fact, I was in the process of reading Sister Lucia's memoirs when I learned of her death in February, 2005.

Naturally, when I learned of the release of a new film on the miracle at Fatima - The 13th Day - I knew I wanted to purchase a copy. I wrote of how it came about that I only recently ordered the DVD in an earlier post [Every Little Bit Helps.]. I promised in that post to write a review of the film after it arrived. The DVD arrived yesterday and I watched it last night after work.

I have a vague recollection of having seen the 1952 movie starring Gilbert Roland; anyone expecting The 13th Day to be a similar "Hollywood" version of the events at Fatima will be sadly disappointed. There is something oddly disconcerting about this new film.....I can't quite put my finger on why. The film is shot mostly in Black and White with limited use of color. The events in the film are an accurate account as given by Sister Lucia, but I felt an uneasiness watching these events on film - an uneasiness that I didn't have reading of the same events in Lucia's memoirs.

Don't get me wrong. I believe the film is worth seeing. However, I'm sure that not everyone will think so. Maybe it's just me, but the unending tension in the film can be a bit overwhelming. I know from Lucia's memoirs that her life was difficult during the time of the apparitions, particularly when she and her cousins were kidnapped by government officials and that comes across in the film. This is not, by any means, a "feel good movie".

This may not have been the movie I wanted to see but, it's very possible that it's the movie I needed to see.

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