New film views Fatima from differing perspectives

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Photo by Claudio Iannone. ©2020 Picturehouse.

Based on the true story of the 1917 Marian apparitions reported by three children at the Cova da Iria in Portugal, Marco Pontecorvo’s 2020 drama. “Fátima” offers a contemporary take using new technology. “The cinemascope format can give back to the audience a much stronger emotion and can help people enjoy the stunning cinematography by Vincenzo Carpineta,” Pontecorvo says.

The director got involved with the project after producers saw his 2009 feature film, “Pa-ra-da,” that addresses the issue of homeless children in post-Ceausescu Romania. Impressed by his direction of the children, they suggested he direct “Fatima.” He felt the story was perhaps too religious but had some very appealing narrative angles. “I proposed to them to point the narrative toward a film that, instead of being dogmatic, could be opened and put the focus on the relevance of this story for the believers and the doubters as well. The element of doubt is crucial in this narration. It is a dialectic doubt that is a sign and an occasion for growth for points of view,” he explains.

Pontecorvo offers insight into the performances and storyline of veteran actors Harvey Keitel and Sönia Braga and how it convinced the producers to trust their instincts and bring him onboard. “In the exchange between Harvey Keitel’s character and Sönia Braga’s, they never change their minds but they both grow. To exercise doubt makes you grow wiser. I told the producers of the movie that if they were interested in this point of view, I would be board. They were because they really wanted this movie to speak to everyone and respect all of the different points of view and perspectives, including mine. I am someone who believes that nature in its grandiose beauty is a representation of God and the divine. That’s why it is so important in this movie.”

“Fatima” was recently released in AMC theaters across the US.

To check if it’s playing at a theater near you, click here.

To stream it on Amazon Prime, click here.




About Jeannine Guilyard

Jeannine Guilyard is a longtime correspondent for Fra Noi and the Italian-American community newspaper in Rochester, N.Y. She has also contributed to the Italian Tribune of New Jersey, Italian Tribune of Michigan and L'Italo Americano of Southern California. Jeannine wrote and directed the short film "Gelsomina," which was selected for the Screenings Program of the 59th Venice Film Festival, and she won Emmy and Peabody awards as an editor of ABC's "Special Report" following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Jeannine is also a writer and editor for Italian Cinema Today, a publication and blog she founded in 2005 to bridge culture between New York and Italy. Follow her on Instagram at Italianartcinema and on Twitter at @ItaloCinema2day.

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