Marco Pontecorvo’s film “Fatima” offers two uncomplicated options.
You are a believer in God and accept that miracles can happen or you may be an agnostic or an atheist that thinks it is all superstition and fairy tale fabrication.
The movie reaches the cinemas in a moment of anxiety and desperation when humanity is facing a pandemic that has a profound connection and similarity with early last century Europe ravaged by the Spanish Flu and war.
It is in this gloomy background that the visions and the miracle of Fatima took place in Portugal.
There are countless movies dealing with religion, from a Cecil De Mille epic biblical perspective to harsh criticism of superstitious beliefs and rituals.
What makes the movie different and singular is Pontecorvo’s masterful cinematography describing the miracle of Fatima
The Italian director has a background of powerful imagery in the art of photography and camerawork in film-making with credits from the series “Game of Thrones” and “Rome” and movies like “Firewall” and “The last legion”.
The story of the shepherds that became seers of miracles and the desperate crowds of followers seeking divine intervention, is handled in “Fatima”, with sobering refinement.
The footage has an unquestionable resemblance to fifty years earlier Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”, but the compatriot Italian movie director dealt with the subject of child seers with a much more unfavorable approach
The plot of “Fatima ” follows the revelations of a nun, being interviewed by an investigative writer, planning a book about the shepherd’s vision of the Virgin Mary in the desolate countryside of Fatima.
One o Fatima’s debatable sequences of the film is the imaginary assassination of the Pope, described in an enigmatic visual language, related to the cryptic revelations of the only surviving shepherd living in a convent in the town of Coimbra.
That is the only instant where Pontercorvo lets his guard down and shows a hint of his feelings.
“Fatima” is a worth seeing movie even if you are not a catholic or a believer in God, because it goes beyond the controversy between faith and superstition, telling a powerful story as it actually happened, without taking sides or trying to influence the audience.