Catholic Review of: The 13th Day
Orthodoxy: Mostly adheres to Church teachings.
Reading Level: N/A
By Gina Fire (OH) - See all my reviews
A breathtakingly filmed & beautifully acted retelling of the most extraordinary miracle of our time
Ian and Dominic Higgins artfully retell the most extraordinary supernatural events to happen in the last 100 years, the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children from Fatima, Portugal.
On May 13, 1917, 7-year-old Jacinta, 9-year-old Francisco and 10-year-old Lucia were tending their sheep on a Portuguese countryside when a beautiful lady in a mystical light appeared to them, urging them to pray the Rosary for the conversion of Russia. For the next six months, Our Lady continued to appear on the 13th day of each month, and the lives of these three children and their families would never be the same.
I've screened a number of films about saints and miracles, and The 13th Day transcends every one of them. They did take a few editorial liberties with some of the story, but only a few, and they were really minor points. Overall they were as accurate as possible to the messages and to the sequence of events. If you are a devotee of Our Lady of Fatima and her appearance, you will pick up on them, but you will not be disappointed. Also, the Higgins' decided to omit the apparitions of the Angel a year earlier, integral to the true story of Fatima, but in my opinion would have complicated the film.
I loved their use of color and light, filming mostly in black and white with elements of saturated color for emphasis on the supernatural and for enhancement to Sr. Lucia's voiceover throughout the film.
The cast really delivered outstanding performances. The children were superb, portraying courageous, devout faith naturally and believably. I was most impressed with Jane Lesley's portrayal of Maria dos Santos, Lucia's obstinate, doubting mother who takes out her doubts on Lucia with vitriol, but showed incredible tenderness and love as well.
I watched this film with people having a variety of knowledge about the apparitions, from those who had never heard the story of Our Lady of Fatima to those who own a library of books on the subject, and this film appealed to all of them. After you watch it, pass it along to all of your family and friends.
You can purchase the DVD here.