Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fairy Tale - A True Story

Watched "Fairy Tale - A True Story" a 1997 film. It is based based on the 1917 incident famously known as the Cottingley Fairies incident in the UK where two young girls aged 10 and 16 took photographs of fairies. The young girls, cousins, took five photogrpahs near a stream they would play.

The film begins with the older cousin Frances coming to stay with her aunt Polly, cousin Elsie and Uncle Arthur, since her father is believed to be missing in action. While playing in the nearby stream they tell their Aunt Polly, who admonishes them for getting wet, that they see fairies near the stream and take a photograph of the fairies as proof. These photographs stir up the household as Polly believes in the supernatural as she is still grieving the loss of her ten year old son Joseph, and Arthur dismissing it as a trick. But the girls take another picture. This time Polly takes the fairy pictures and hands them over to the Theosophical Society which at that time was arguing for the case of angels being a reality. The photos are verified by photographic experts and said to be original and not tampered with.

The photos catch the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was a known spiritualist and who argues for the case of the two girls and the fairies. Harry Houdini the magician and a good friend of Sir Arthur is also brought into the scenario though he is sceptical as he has always been of the supernatural. The girls take yet another photograph with the cameras that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle presents them, the fifth. Though the authorities do not accept the photos as proof Sir Conan Doyle uses them in his article with the Strand magazine. As news of the Cottingley Fairies spreads people come there in droves to see the fairies. The fairies are shown fleeing from the stream, entering the room where the girls are and then, Frances's father returns miraculously from the war.

It is based on a true story and is shown well. The real cousins however, confessed that the first four photographs were a hoax, but the fifth was not, at a ripe old age (they died in 1986 and 1988) though the movie does not dwell on that. If you believe in fairies, you see fairies. If you don't, you don't. It is a matter of faith and one should leave it at that. Surprising how so much is raised about the existence of fairies when the whole world believes in a God they have not seen. If God be seen in the wonders of creation all around, so too can fairies be seen in all the good that happens!

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