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Movie propaganda: abortion, euthanasia.

Venice -- In September 2004, Venice Film Festival awards provided a classic example of media hostility to religion and moral values.

The Golden Lion for best picture went to Vera Drake, a British film lauding abortion. The film's lead, Imelda Staunton, won the prize for best actress. A proeuthanasia

Spanish film, Mar Adentro (The Sea Within), won the runner-up award in the best-film category, while its lead Javier Bardem won the best-actor prize.

Vera Drake portrays a seemingly ordinary housewife who performed secret abortions in the 1950s before the procedure was legal, the London-based Times noted Monday. The film was made thanks to a grant of 1.25 million pounds ($2.2 million) from the UK Film Council. Two years ago, the council financed the anti-Catholic film The Magdalene Sisters, which also won the Golden Lion award.

In an interview published September 13, 2004, by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the director of Vera Drake, Mike Leigh, declared it seemed ridiculous that some countries still outlaw abortion. He seemed to regard abortion as a useful means to control population growth, commenting that the Earth isn't getting any larger while the number of people is. He also said he considered including the Catholic Church's position on abortion in the film, but later dismissed the idea as being irrelevant for the picture.

Second-place winner Mar Adentro tells the story of Ramon Sampedro, who was paralyzed from the neck down at the age of 25. Sampedro committed suicide in 1998. Father Luis de Moya, a quadriplegic who knew Sampedro, affirmed in an interview with Zenit that "it seems very clear that his sad story is used in an attempt to trivialize euthanasia and in that way to prepare the terrain for its forthcoming legalization."

In fact, the British newspaper Observer noted on September 12 that the opening night of Mar Adentro drew most of the Spanish Cabinet, along with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

According to the Observer, some members of the governing Socialist Party are urging the government to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate legalizing euthanasia. "The film invites us to reflect," agreed Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, who denied there are any immediate plans to change the law.

Zapatero, according to the British paper, commented: "The film, paradoxically, is a hymn to life .... The defence of the freedom to die is, itself, a hymn to life."
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Title Annotation:Italy
Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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