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Movie Review | Belle [2014]

'What is right can never be impossible.' [Sir John Lindsay] The historical period/costume drama, Belle, is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed race (mulatto) illegitimate woman trying to find her place in 18th century society. Belle is taken in by Lord Mansfield, her aristocratic uncle on her fathers' side. He is also a prestigious judge involved in presiding over a controversial case involving slaves who were dumped en masse into the sea to lighten the ship's load.

Belle's lineage allows her certain privilege, but her status prevents her from certain societal restrictions. The socio-political issues of slavery and race create the conflict and the story is further complicated by the romance between Belle and the principled John Danvier, an abolitionist.

The value and dignity of all human life, regardless of status or skin colour and the fight to end slavery in England, are beautifully and clearly portrayed in this movie. 'Laws that allow us to diminish the humanity of anybody are not laws.' [John Danvier]



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