Mike Nichols´ New Film a Healthy Reflection on Death

Vatican Radio Analyzes «Wit»

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BERLIN, FEB. 12, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Mike Nichols´ film «Wit» has caught the attention of Vatican Radio.

The film, which was made in London and presented at the Berlin Film Festival, addresses the challenges that today´s new technology presents to human «wit.»

The film´s protagonist, Vivian Berig, is a brilliant and enthusiastic professor of literature. She enthralls her students with ironic sarcasm, and, along with her academic prestige, enjoys a kind of seeming invulnerability and independence.

One day, however, Vivian learns that a malignant tumor is threatening her health. She is forced to confront her philosophy of life with 21st century medicine.

Nichols was inspired by a prize-winning story of Margaret Edson. Emma Thompson plays the lead role. Vatican Radio said the film presents «a confrontation between faith, philosophy and science in face of the problem of death.»

«In this confrontation,» Vatican Radio said, «one can see the commitment of medical science, which never gives up, going so far as to be cruel with its techniques and medication in order to prolong life, even at the price of causing the patient much suffering.

«It is contrasted with the healthy philosophy that addresses the mystery of death in the light of faith. In face of painful therapy, which in the end will have to give in, Vivian only asks that she be spared unbearable pain, and entrusts herself to the passage from earthly life to eternity.»

«It is a film that is clearly placed in line with the recent pontifical magisterium; it offers profound reasons for healthy reflection on the problem of death,» Vatican Radio concluded.

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