Monday, April 27, 2015

Belle (2013 film)

I don’t know why it has hit me so hard. I most thoroughly enjoyed the movie Belle for so many reasons. Partly for the wonderful, wonderful performances of Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sam Reid. There were so many heart-wrenching scenes between them. Or for that matter the scenes between Gugu and Tom Wilkinson tugged on my heart strings as well. Oh love. Familial and romantic. sigh. So upon seeing the name of the director I realized there was a chance she was a woman and so I quickly had to check imdb to find out more about the director and writer. And seeing that they were both women, both people of colour, just set me to sobbing. I think out of relief. The film industry, like so many industries, is dominated by white men in positions of power. And this wonderful movie discussing something so critical as racism, and even sexism to some degree... I couldn’t help but feel such a profound relief that it had been allowed to be told by women of colour.

As I write this I am confused as to why I feel such relief? Is it because watching a movie like this and knowing that event sparked a change in society, a change that did happen, but has not finished happening, as we still see so much racism today. And in watching the story of that change, I can’t help feeling frustrated that in present day we have not gone far enough yet, that movies are still created by a very small cultural group, unrepresentative of the diversity we live in. And holding my breath as I waited to find out more about the creators of this movie, and just praying it was not a victim to the cultural status quo, and then the flood of relief to find out it wasn’t!! That other voices had been allowed to be heard! I have hope yet again for us. For humanity, for society.

Even the original painting they showed at the end of the movie, fascinated me. I feel like most paintings I’ve seen from that era are so serious and these women are portrayed as so lighthearted and happy! I can’t help but keep staring at it! :))) And I just loved the passion Sam Reid conveyed for his character John Davinier!! Passion for his cause, to defend what’s right, and passion for Dido herself. sigh.... :) A most beautiful movie!!