The Miracle is an excellent drama, a must-watch Euro TV series of the year. And it’s streaming for free right now in the US.
A politician, a military man, and a scientist walk into a drained pool…
No, this isn’t the start of a bad joke. Rather, it’s an early scene in the brilliant drama series The Miracle (Il miracolo).
These three individuals, along with a few more, make up the cadre of witnesses of the eponymous miracle: the constant weeping of blood by a plastic statue of the Virgin Mary.
Said statue had been in the possession of Molocco (Serio Valastro, Detective Montalbano), a mafia boss whose bunker was raided by the police. They discovered and retrieved the statue and took Molocco in custody, and the one thing General Votta (Sergio Albelli, Crimes, Good and Evil, Don Matteo) keeps asking the don is: how did he get the statue? But Molocco remains silent. So Votta goes on a mission to find the answer.
It is through Votta, a believer, that Prime Minister Fabrizio Pietromarchi (Guido Caprino, Inspector Manara, 1994, Medici) comes to witness the miracle. An atheist, Fabrizio runs through a list of possible explanations as to how the statue could be weeping blood — human blood at that — but the scientists on Votta’s team, including Sandra Roversi (Alba Rohrwacher, My Brilliant Friend, Garibaldi’s Lovers, I Am Love), counter each one. It, quite simply, defies the laws of physics.
Sandra, who has sacrificed her own life to care for her ill mother for the last ten years, becomes increasingly obsessed with finding out more about the blood and the human it comes from. And after Father Marcello (Tommaso Ragno, Baby, Thou Shalt Not Kill, 1992) sees the weeping statue for himself, he believes it is well and truly a miracle as well as a sign for him to change his wayward ways, and that the world needs to know about it so we can change ours, too.
But before Fabrizio even considers releasing information about the blood-weeping statue to the public, he must deal with more pressing concerns, not the least of which are the upcoming referendum regarding Italy remaining in or leaving the European Union, and his disintegrating marriage to Sole (Elena Lietti, Murders at Barlume).
Meanwhile, flashbacks tell a related story as vivid nightmares and life-changing events haunt the characters.
Binge-worthy from start to finish, The Miracle tells an absorbing tale about (an admittedly minuscule sub-section of) the human condition as it follows individuals with abiding, lapsed or little to no faith, acting out of hope, kindness, curiosity or desperation, seeking love, escape, redemption or salvation… or a miracle.
The drama, whose eight episodes cover eight successive days in the main characters’ lives, is beautifully acted by the leads as well as actors in secondary roles, including Lorenza Indovina (Rocco Schiavone) as Clelia, a middle-aged woman who has history with Father Marcello, and Alessio Praticò (Mafia Undercover) as Salvo, father to a learning-disabled boy.
Produced by Sky Italia (The New Pope, Romanzo Criminale) and Wildside (The New Pope, My Brilliant Friend), with co-production partners Arte France (Transfers) and Kwaï (Baron noir), the series costars Denis Fasolo (Anti-Drug Squad), Irena Goloubeva (Grand Hotel), and Pia Lanciotti (1993).
The Miracle is currently streaming in the US on Topic, the new SVOD service that launched in the States two weeks ago, and its digital channels, including Topic on Amazon. (Read more about Topic here.) Viewers who aren’t subscribers can watch The Miracle, as well as a handful of other titles, on Topic for free (probably for a limited time only).
(Folks in the UK can access The Miracle on Amazon Video and iTunes.)
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