BELLE (2013) – My rating: 8.5/10

BelleI really liked Belle, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.  Another movie based on a true story that tells the horrors of the Black Plight.  In 1761, Dido Elizabeth Belle was born to a white captain of the Royal Navy and Maria Belle, a Black enslaved African woman from the West Indies.  When her mother died, her father, Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) took his daughter, Belle to his aristocratic uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson) to be reared in a better environment with all the advantages Blacks were not privy to.  Ironically, the biggest trial in British history, regarding a slave ship and an insurance company, known as the Zong massacre, was being decided by Belle’s great uncle who was the chief magistrate presiding over the case.  Talk of this trial reached Belle who quickly learned what being Black really meant.  She had been sheltered from her heritage until now.  Belle’s cousin, Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon)  was also being rared in the same house by her great uncle, Lord Mansfield.  The two girls enjoyed a nanny, a great uncle and a great aunt who absolutely adored them.  As time past, Belle’s father past away and left her 2000 pounds a year making Belle practically rich while Elizabeth’s father, who remarried,  wouldn’t even acknowledge her, leaving her penniless, at the insistence of his new wife.  This intriguing story is well told and very interesting.  Now that Belle is on DVD and Blu-Ray, it’s definitely worth a look.

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