Belle is a 2013 British drama film directed by Amma Asante, written by Misan Sagay, and produced by Damian Jones.It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Tom Felton, and James Norton.The film centers on Dido’s relationship with an aspiring young lawyer and is set at a time of legal significance as the potential ramifications of the Zong massacre become apparent. Lord Mansfield’s ruling on this infamous case, in England’s Court of King’s Bench, became an important step in bringing an end to slavery in England.
This new film “BELLE” is quite interesting to me because I have never heard of this story ever not even in school. It is definitely about time that we are being enlighten on poignant heroines . It is important for people to especially know the role women played that led to equality during the slavery institution era. We can not let the women in slavery become a forgotten role again as it has been for a long time. I think this film also shows forward movement women gaining more equality in the world as we still aren’t equal to men in most aspects.
The Main Character in “BELLE” is ironically played by bi- racial actress from the UK. Gugu, short for Gugulethu, Xhosa for “Our Pride”, was born in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England. Her mother, Anne Raw, is a caucasian, English nurse, and her father, Patrick Mbatha, is a black, South African doctor. A talented singer and dancer as well as playing the saxophone, she joined the Oxford Youth Music Theater in her teens. In 2001 she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. Since graduation in 2004 she has appeared in all media, including as an acclaimed Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theater and on television in such varied series as Bad Girls (1999), Doctor Who (2005) and “Marple”.
Here’s the back story on the movie “BELLE”
(original art work)
The film is inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. Commissioned by William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the portrait of his two nieces hung in England’s Kenwood House, until 1922. Very little is known about Dido Belle’s life in the Mansfield home.
The Movie will premiere this Friday May 2nd ,2014 in NY and LA . Through out the months of May and June the film will premiering in other cities cross the country. Check http://www.foxsearchlight.com/Belle/ for dates and cities where you can catch “BELL” near you !