So I have had a chance to see the movie Belle and I have been concerned about the lack of interest in the movie. (Spoiler Alert: Belle is based on a true story. so reading a book or wikipedia will ruin the ending.)
Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761–1804), was an illegitimate daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an enslaved African woman known as Maria Belle. Dido was sent to live in the household of William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, who was Lindsay’s uncle and thus Dido’s great-uncle. Remarkably, she was brought up as a free young gentlewoman at Kenwood House at the same time that her great-uncle, in his capacity as Lord Chief Justice, was called on to rule on cases affecting the legitimacy of the slave trade.
The movie is a lovely period piece and tribute. But on to the things that I liked about the movie.
1. It is directed by a black woman Amma Asante, a British writer and film director and the screenplay is written by a black woman, Misan Sagay, whose credits include Their Eyes Were Watching God.
2. Gugu Mbatha- Raw is phenomenal as Belle.
3. The movie highlights the history of Slavery and law in England. the story of The Zong massacre was new to me and I appreciate the way it was interwoven in the story to not be heavy handed.
4. The movie gives a black woman’s face those soft romantic close-ups that you never see of Black women.
5. The lovely period costumes on a black body
6. Belle growing from a pampered little girl to a thoughtful intelligent woman
7. The love that Admiral Sir John Lindsay held for his daughter and her mother. it is so rarely depicted in movies as if black women are unlovable.
8. The actor Sam Reid, is handsome and ardent in his portrayal of John Davinier, her suitor and husband to be.
9. Belle doesn’t play an isolated (one black friend) character in the movie. You get to see black people in England. (Note: Shakespeare included Black people in several plays Black and British, brought to you by an Elizabethan.
10. Like the movie, 12 Years A Slave, Belle takes a lost story and presents it to a new generation. educating, enlightening and dispelling myths and ignorance
11. Hearing the word “mulatto” with a British accent.