Tag Archives: Black plight

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.

THE BUTLER (2013) – My rating: 10/10

TheButlerVery nicely done.  The Butler is sort of a love story that educates us on the events regarding the Black plight from the 50’s to present.  At the tender age of 6, Cecil (played by Forest Whitaker) worked beside his parents, picking cotton.  Tragedy unfolds at the onset of this brilliant movie and we get to see Cecil’s life unfold as he becomes “The Butler”.  This movie is based on a true story depicting the life of Eugene Allen, born July 14, 1919, in Scottsville, VA over the span of 8 presidents.  Eugene died March 31st, 2010 and his wife, played by Oprah Winfrey passed in 2008 a few days short of  Obama’s win as the 44th president of the United States.  Lee Daniels may have directed a potential academy award nominated feature.  I really felt like I was right there in the White House with Cuba, Lenny and Forest.  The Butler was personable and real.  I learned something new about each president Cecil served under.

For the sake of history, heartfelt entertainment, masterful direction and a cast to die for, see The Butler.  It’s worth your time and your money!