The DVD contains the film, and some side features. Quite a lot of the movie is interviews of people in Portuguese; it would be interesting to know how faithful the English subtitles are to the original meaning.
Regarding the film itself:
They got some parts of the Fatima message right:
· The film ends with a call for peace from Fr. Schiffer, the Jesuit priest who was one of the survivors of the A-Bomb at Hiroshima. It is noteworthy – and correct – for NOT calling for a militant crusade as a response to the messages of Our Lady.
· The film makes it clear that the Fatima message is still relevant now; it does not relegate the apparition and its significance to the past.
The film provided some details that I knew beforehand, details that are (or could be seen as) critical of the slothful behavior of the Church Administration:
· It stated, accurately, that John Paul II was not connected to Fatima, or attentive to it, until after the 5/13/81 assassination attempt.
· It stated that the beatification of the 2 seers who died soon after the apparition was "delayed for many decades," and getting the beatification done required something like a personal intervention from Pope John Paul II.
· It was very clear that the Vatican prohibited Lucia from speaking to others about the message of Fatima, a prohibition that she accepted and obeyed (2). (I recall a reference to this situation in the 1990s by Malachi Martin; he had described Sr. Lucia as a “hostage,” as far as I remember.)
The film makers included some information that was new to me, even though I am familiar with the phenomenon through reading several books, and through the articles on your web site. That new information included:
· The film stated that the October 13 Miracle of the Sun was seen over a 600 square mile area, which works out to it being visible about 14 miles away from the Cove.
· When Francisco was dying of the flu, he refused hospital care.
· After Jacinta died, the undertaker found tears of blood on her body, as if she had wept blood just before dying ... but nevertheless, that there was an odor of flowers, and no stench, around the body.
· The film claims that it was the picture of Jacinta's incorrupt body in 1935 that motivated Lucia to start her Fatima memoirs. (I do not know whether this is true, or propaganda.)
Unfortunately, the film incorporates much of the evil “spin” on Fatima from the Vatican hierarchy. Spin is delivered by commission and by omission:
· There is a reference to the La Salette vision, and a mention that these children "went off the rails" later in life. The context in this film is that the Fatima visionaries retained the free will to respond well or badly to the apparitions. However, it is clear that the Vatican (and the film makers) disdain an apparition such as La Salette, which includes the warning that “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Antichrist”.
· The film makes the claim that Lucia withheld the Third Part of the secret because the world was not ready for it.
· The film upholds the Vatican line that the Third Secret was a vision. It makes no mention of the text of the message given in the secret.
· In the biography of Lucia after 1917, the film makes a brief reference to additional visits by Our Lady to her. There is no specific mention of the 1925-1931 apparitions of Jesus and Mary, and NO mention of their content and deadlines.
· The film claims that Portugal was transformed in the 1920s, with the end of the persecution of the Roman Catholic Church ... but there is no mention of the role of Salazar or of Portuguese fascism.
· At 1 hour and 14 minutes into the main movie, there is a photo of Benedict XVI, followed by the statement, "It was he who interpreted and wrote out the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima. In that text he reveals deep knowledge of everything related to Fatima." The film praises Benedict XVI, and appears to give him credit for writing the “Third Secret” that was released in 2000. Could it be that the Vatican's men have admitted more than they intended to in this case?
· In its history of the Rosary, the film stated that Our Lady gave it to St. Dominic, and that he used it to pray against the Albigensians. This history of the fight against the Albigensians omits the crusade against the Albigensians, the Inquisition, and the Dominicans' role in the Inquisition.
The film ends with a Bishop Sheen quote that "Fatima is not a
warning, it is a hope." As such, the movie ending pulls the teeth from
the Fatima message.
The film is engaging and technically well done. Nevertheless, because the true parts of the message of the film are so thoroughly mixed with ecclesiastical propaganda, I cannot give the movie better than a “D” grade.
Aside from the film, there are additional items on the DVD: 2 hour-long films on Fatima and its meaning. I was unable to review these films or to make comments, but viewed the first several minutes of each one to verify that they are viewable on the DVD.