Commendation of the Ecumenical Jury, Locarno 2019

Beyond its high aesthetic quality, Pedro Costa’s feature film, »Vitalina Varela« has the ability to stimulate thorough theological discussions on the dialectic character of faith by innovative use of darkness and light. Through the spiritual journey of an abandoned woman and a priest with an empty church, the film raises the audience consciousness of the transcendent dimensions of life. It also expresses respect for human dignity, the need of reconciliation and solidarity with minorities at a more universal level.