The 13th Day is one of the best Christian films I’ve ever seen. The film retells the story of the Marian apparition sighting in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, leading up to The Miracle of the Sun which took place that October and was witnessed by over 70,000 people.
Helmed by visionary directors Ian & Dominic Higgins, this compelling and moving film is layered in both style and substance. It faithfully tells the amazing story of three peasant children, Lucia Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto who, while in the fields in Fatima, saw a vision of a “beautiful lady” who identified herself as the Virgin Mary. She gave the children insight into the sorrow that God is feeling toward humanity for its lack of faith and disobedience. They are given visions of God’s holy wrath, of Hell and of future disasters if the people of the world don’t change their path.
The Virgin Mary asks that Russia be consecrated to her immaculate heart by the Catholic Church. This is not done and her warning of Russia’s influence in the world and against the church come true, leading to losses of nations, the spread of atheism and the persecution of the Church.
The film is ingeniously shot in black and white, with a stylized approach that mirrors the old photographs taken during the numerous Marian events in 1917. It’s as if you’re watching a film made in the late 1920s, at the peak of the visual cinematic language. It is a daring and successful decision on their part that sets their film apart from anything available today and, in its own way, makes it timeless in its storytelling.
The brave and effective black and white approach perfectly sets up visual options for when the documented supernatural events occur in the story with rich, vivid colors. The Higgins brothers have delivered a visual feast for the eyes to go along with a real life story that tugs at your heart and inspires your faith.
I cannot say enough good things about this film. These talented film makers took numerous chances and, like the Fatima miracles themselves, delivered a story that will stay with you for years to come.
You can watch the trailer here: