I can…imagine it!
Finding a story worthy of a Silver Screen debut couched in history would be sensational! To have that story garner the interest of the world and harvest rave reviews would make my heart palpitate uncontrollably, though I’d rise to the occasion and carry off the project exactly as the beautiful director, Amma Asante, did; gracefully, creatively, ingeniously.
“Belle” is a revolutionary film. In the video below, I discovered how Amma came across the story, so do take the time to view the half-hour clip! What resonates with me is hearing Amma admit that Black people were depicted as ‘pets’ in the 18th century in portraits, and when she came across a portrait depicting a Black woman, a mulatto, the daughter of an Englishman and an African slave, as an emboldened woman, Amma Asante was mesmerized. Later, engrossed in research, she sought the story’s thread. After all, this Black woman was painted looking outward, at the viewer, not peering at the ground, bowed and lowered, with the demeanor of a trusted hound, but a woman painted higher than a white woman, a blonde, her cousin, who was reaching out for Belle’s hand, locking Belle in as the central figure of the portrait, the original of which was shown at the end of the movie.
If you haven’t seen the film, see it. It’s soul stirring, its heart-clutching moments riveting. The tale uproots history and elucidates the story of someone who did something and, under great duress, made a decision that changed the world in a profound way.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw brought a beautiful, powerful, mind-boggling presence to the role of Dido Elizabeth Belle. Everything in me instantly loved her. When you see the film, you could be easily distracted by her tour-de-force beauty, conviction and grace, although the sweeping majesty of the film will bring you back, continuously, to the bravery it took to be Belle at that time in history, to stand up for what she believed, even in the face of possibly losing it all, her life included.
That is what I like to think of as “living passionately.” Reminds me of my brother, Lorenzo, who has ever walked fearlessly. Even if there was a chance of a beat down, incarceration, the brink of death, firing, etc. My brother did and yet does what he has to do, what he feels compelled to do. And for that, for whatever it is worth, he has my respect.
I knew I would see “Belle” from the moment I caught the television previews. No, I didn’t call the exact date I’d see it, nor could I say with whom I’d see it. What I knew for sure, as Oprah might say, is…I’d see it, and I did.
Speak the word, believe, and it is so.
What film have you seen lately that touched you profoundly?