Solo Dios Lo Sabe
Father José Luís Saavedra is the novice master for a dozen men in formation for a religious group, Hogar de la Madre, the group that has done much for the movie’s production. I spent two days in their house near Torrelavega last March. Father’s photo is alongside that of the movie’s producer. I translated Father’s letter below with some surprise help from an unintended click. His vocabulary has always been a challenge and recently he received his doctorate. Therefore some of this translation is far from perfect.
In the first paragraphs (my italics), Father answers my concern to him on the difficulty of finding a public response to the movie. The rest, starting, “Dear Friends” appears to be comments to all.
Feb 9 6 A.M.
Dear Ed!!! Good to hear from you. Well, well, about the movie, it will give much glory to the Virgin, or rather she, to herself. I put some data that are already short, because there is constantly news although the media, as you have seen, are trying to silence this small miracle from heaven because the great of this world are being shown up (put in their place) on seeing that a movie with zero budget, made by families, is the 8th most seen in all of Spain in the last six months.
On February 2, 2018, the film Garabandal, “Only God Knows” was released in six Spanish cities, the first film based on the supposed apparitions of the Virgin in San Sebastián de Garaabandal (Cantabria, Spain) to reach the theater.
Both in Madrid, as in Valencia, Santander, Cuenca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Tenerife, the response from the public has been very important. According to estimates, just in those six cities there have been some 5,000 attendees already. Many rooms were full to overflowing, some cinemas had to open extra passes to meet the demand for tickets, and the lines of people waiting to enter filled the sidewalks. . . The owner of one of the theaters came to tell us, “But, what’s with this movie? We haven’t seen such advance sales in our life, not even with Star Wars.
Faced with these results, Mater Spei [name of the production company] knows that the merit is not theirs. We didn’t count on a great producer or distributor. We could not offer a famous cast. The budget for publicity was all spent on printing posters for our volunteers to put up. It hasn’t been possible to spend for publicity on buses or billboards. . . The attraction, the magnet [to draw people to see the movie ] are the same happenings that occurred in San Sebastián de Garabandal from the 18th of June of 1961 until the 13th of November 1965, when four young girls claimed having seen first St. Michael the archangel and later Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Some of the reviews given by the cinematographic world experts have been interesting and important. In the chronological order we point out these:
-Jose María Aresté, 1/31/ 2018, on the web De Cine 21, spokesperson for PREMIERES 21, states: “What stands out is the effort to bring about this project, and the soundness (strength) of the final result (. . .) without trying to say more than what the official Church has said on the case.”
– Jerónimo José Martínez in “Estrenos de cine” (Movie premieres) on the program for “Weekend” of COPE, affirms on 2/2/2018: “ What the Church has said is that the supernatural nature of the apparitions is not yet evident but that the message does not offend the Catholic faith. Therefore, it is valid and is in line with other apparitions such as Fatima.”
-In the program “Trece en pantalla grande (Thirteen on the big screen)” once again Jerónimo José Martínez, this time in conversation with Juan de Orellana (Director of the Film Department of the CEE), emphasize the suitable (worthy) result of the production, even without counting on either a big budget or professionals. Orellana says: The film has not wanted to go beyond where the Church has arrived. It presents the facts as they are known.”
-Juan Manuel Cotelo on his part, who had just left the showing in Valencia the 2nd of February, writes on his web site Infinito+1 an enthusiastic critique of which we highlight only some lines: “I just left the theater and don’t want to wait even a minute longer in writing my first impressions of the movie GARABANDAL. Uff…it’s always difficult for me to write about movies that I have liked mucho, mucho….It isn’t easy to keep in order (restrain) an emotional volcano. . . . Garabandal is about conversions, and for that reason– above all for that reason– it is an important and necessary movie. I recommend it and ask that, whoever wants to see it, do so as soon as possible. In the theater, big screen, in silence, without distractions. It’s worth it. My profound gratitude to the producers.
Some of the spectators have complained about only one thing: that some things are left out. Sure, we are aware that things are missing: in the first place, for lack of time. To narrate [all] that happened daily in Garabandal [is] not for one movie but for a series.
But this apparent lack also answers to (explains) our not wanting to deviate from the main objective: we want the spectators to leave the room convinced that the Virgin is their mother, a mother who loves us with madness and who wants our salvation. That’s why she comes to ask us to be good, to convert. In addition, as film critics have rightly understood, this film has respected a limit it could not transcend: the current position of the Church. This film doesn’t have a mission to explain or interpret what happened at Garabandal. It simply wants to put into images what any witness lived at the time.
For that reason there are many issues that we have preferred to leave out, because they still have to be the subject of a more detailed study by the Church, to whose judgment we submit.
Next Friday the 9th of February, the movie “Garabandal, solo Dios lo sabe” will open in Barcelona (where it’s almost sold out), Huesca and Torrijos (Toledo). The 16th of February it will arrive in Alcalá de Henares, Segovia, Cádiz, Punta Umbría (Huelva), Ontinyent (Valencia)… for the time being, because ten other cities are about to finalize contracts for the same 16th or for the following weekend, the 23rd of February.
I again send el link (the link) to the press section where you can find much information about the movie and about Garabandal, besides various versions of the trailer with distinct qualities, photogrammetry, and the official movie poster.
Que Nuestra Madre conceda a esta película transmitir su bendición
May Our Mother grant that this movie bring about her blessing.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Oficina de Prensa
Mater Spei, AIE
Un abrazo and may God bless you.
P José Luís