Vatican Radio Sees a Difference in Films Hailed in Venice

VENICE, Italy, SEPT. 13, 2004 ( The Venice Film Festival awarded its two most important prizes to one film which defends abortion and to another that promotes euthanasia.

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The Golden Lion was given to «Vera Drake,» a film by British director Mike Leigh, who tells the story of a woman in London in the 1950s who practiced illegal abortions among very poor and desperate women.

The Special Prize was awarded to «Out at Sea,» directed by Spaniard Alejandro Amenábar, which recounts the story of quadriplegic Ramón Sampedro who died by euthanasia.

Vatican Radio stated Sunday that both films touched upon «difficult problems and intense topics,» yet it noted a key difference between the two.

«Vera Drake,» the report explained, tells the story of a woman moved «by a mixture of ignorance and naiveté.»

«For this reason, despite the inevitable ethical problems it poses, the director manages not to offend the believer and leads him to a greater awareness,» the papal broadcasting station affirmed.

On the contrary, Amenábar’s film offers «a view of suffering and faith that is offensive for those who think another way and for those who live in another manner the unfathomable mystery of pain, death and eternity,» Vatican Radio said.

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