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'Fatima' filmmaker hopes to inspire people to believe miracles can still happen 

'Fatima' filmmaker hopes to inspire people to believe miracles can still happen 

Movie poster, 2020

The new film “Fatima,” now available in theaters and on-demand, tells the story about the power of faith in times of global turmoil. 

The film is based on the popular account of the "Three Secrets of Fátima," which came from the true story of three young Portuguese shepherds, Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The children, who grew up in the Catholic faith, witnessed a series of apocalyptic visions and prophecies which they say were given to them by Mary, mother of Jesus, starting on May 13, 1917. The trio claimed to have been visited a total of six times between May and October 1917. 

“Fatima” the film follows 10-year-old Lucia and her two young cousins in Fátima, Portugal, as they try to reconcile their visitations and convince their family and the church that what they are experiencing is true. 

“Their revelations inspire believers but anger officials of both the Church and the secular government, who try to force them to recant their story. As word of their prophecy spreads, tens of thousands of religious pilgrims flock to the site in hopes of witnessing a miracle. What they experience will change their lives forever,” the movie synopsis reads.

The cast features Stephanie Gil (“Terminator: Dark Fate”), Lúcia Moniz (“Love, Actually”), Joaquim de Almeida (“Queen of the South”), Goran Visnjic, Sonia Braga and Harvey Keitel (“The Irishman”).

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Rose Ganguzza, the producer of the inspiring film, spoke with The Christian Post and shared why audiences will be impacted by this miraculous account.

Christian Post: What inspired making this account into a movie?

Ganguzza: Like anyone who went to Catholic schools, the story of Fatima was always fascinating. We always heard about the three secrets and all the theories on whether the third secret was ever fully revealed. As the years went by, I kept wondering what those children saw and how three youngsters in the middle of nowhere during World War I could have possibly made up these visions and what was told to them. It was a type of magic realism. My whole life I have always been fascinated by the imagination of children, but also by their ability to cross the line beyond the borders of reality as we understand it.

CP: What made you personally want to be a part of this project? 

Ganguzza: As a producer, I love telling stories which involve children, and with this story, I wanted it to be told in a different way than before ... from the point of view of the children and within the context of what they were experiencing in their small village during a world at war and on the eve of an unprecedented pandemic.

CP: How are you hoping "Fatima" impacts viewers? 

Ganguzza: We had to pull back from our original release date because of COVID and now we have released this film at a time when the world is similarly upside down. I think right now, so many people are angry, not just because of the pandemic, but because our lives have become disrupted. I would love for viewers to come out of this film with a sense of peace and that miracles can and do happen.

CP:  Why should the Christian community outside of the Catholic community view this film? 

Ganguzza: This film is a historical recounting. The fact that in October of 1917, on the sixth and final apparition, there were 70,000 people in that grotto from far and wide and the miracle was witnessed and the word was spread, is pretty incredible at a time when there was no social media or nightly news. We created a character who meets with Lucia when she is old and in a cloister in Portugal. The character is a professor writing a book in which he questions “seers” and they distort what they claim to see. The professor is played by Harvey Keitel and he asks all the questions that a non-Catholic viewer would ask.

CP: During the filming of "Fatima," were there any supernatural occurrences? 

Ganguzza: We were in Portugal filming for five months and shot all over the country because Fatima today is a huge tourist attraction. We witnessed the large gatherings of people in Fatima and their pleas for cures and miracles. 

The child actors were the most affected by the story of the three shepherd children. We did not have supernatural occurrences, but there was a definite change in all of us involved in a stronger belief that the supernatural does exist.

CP: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Ganguzza: For me, this is a film unlike any I have ever made. I have mostly dealt with secular stories, but I do love films that surprise and are different from everything else that is out there. We did not get much love when we first tried to raise the funding and get support for this movie; there was no one raising their hand to help. We did this in a very unconventional way, but it gave us the freedom to tell the story in a compelling way that now is surprising everyone who sees the film.

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