Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

 CNS Story:

POTTER-VATICAN Jul-12-2011 (520 words) xxxi

Vatican newspaper says Harry Potter film champions values

A scene from last year's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." (CNS/Warner Bros.)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The last battle of the almost-grownup Harry Potter may be too scary for young viewers, but it champions the values of friendship and sacrifice, the Vatican newspaper said.

"The atmosphere of the last few episodes, which had become increasingly dark and ominous, reaches its pinnacle," said one of two reviews of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" printed July 12 in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

The darkness "may disturb younger audiences," said reviewer Gaetano Vallini.

"Death, which was a rare occurrence (in the previous Harry Potter films) is the protagonist here," which is another reason the film may not be appropriate for everyone, he said.

"As for the content, evil is never presented as fascinating or attractive in the saga, but the values of friendship and of sacrifice are highlighted. In a unique and long story of formation, through painful passages of dealing with death and loss, the hero and his companions mature from the lightheartedness of infancy to the complex reality of adulthood," he said.

Young people introduced to Harry Potter through the seven books by J.K. Rowling and the films based on them have grown with Potter and his friends, Vallini said, "and they certainly have understood that magic is only a narrative pretext useful in the battle against an unrealistic search for immortality."

In the second review, Antonio Carriero reaffirmed one point Vatican reviewers have made since the Harry Potter books first appeared in Italian: The story captured the imagination of millions of children around the world and got them reading books.

And, he said, the saga championed values that Christians and non-Christians share and provided opportunities for Christian parents to talk to their children about how those values are presented in a special way in the Bible.

Potter's archenemy, Lord Voldemort, "does not represent Satan, as it would be easy to think, but is a man who has made bad choices in his life," Carriero said.

Voldemort has chosen not to love others and sees himself as the center of the universe, he said.

Carriero said Voldemort is like many modern men and women who think they can do without God and without others, they don't believe in heaven, and yet they are the most frightened of dying.

"Eternal life is reached through death, not without it. And Harry Potter, although he never declared himself a Christian, calls on the dark magician to mend his ways, repent for what he has done and recognize the primacy of love over everything so he will not be damned for eternity," he wrote.

The "Deathly Hallows" demonstrates that "from the pure of heart like the young Harry, ready to die for his friends," come big lessons, Carriero wrote.

The film also teaches that "it's possible to change the world. It is Harry, with his inseparable friends, who demonstrates that it is possible to vanquish evil and establish peace. Power, success and an easy life do not bring the truest and deepest joys. For that we need friendship, self-giving, sacrifice and attachment to a truth that is not formed in man's image," the review said.


Copyright (c) 2011 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250