VATICAN CITY - The Vatican newspaper gave the new Harry
Potter movie four stars for promoting "friendship, altruism,
loyalty and self-giving."
As "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was set to open
worldwide July 15, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican
newspaper, once again downplayed concerns that the film and
book series by J.K. Rowling promote magic and witchcraft.
"Certainly, Rowling's vision lacks a reference to
transcendence, to a providential design in which people live
their personal histories and history itself takes shape," the
paper said in its July 14 edition.
But, it said, the new film and the books make clear "the line
of demarcation between one who does good and one who does
evil, and it is not difficult for the reader or the viewer to
identify with the first."
"This is particularly true in the latest film," the review
said. "They know that doing good is the right thing to do.
And they also understand that sometimes this involves hard
work and sacrifice."
The magic in Harry Potter is similar to the magic found "in
classic fairy tales," it said.
When the book is finished or the film credits roll, what is
remembered are "the values of friendship, altruism, loyalty
and self-giving" rather than the magic tricks, the newspaper
L'Osservatore said the film "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
Prince," the sixth Harry Potter film, is the best adaptation
"As the characters - now adolescents on the threshold of
adulthood - have grown, the tone of the story has as well and
the film benefits," it said.
The Vatican newspaper said the fact that the teen stars are
starting to experience a bit of romance, "with the right
balance, makes them more credible" because "they are called
to face the same problems as their 'Muggle' peers." In the
Harry Potter series "Muggles" are people not endowed with