Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Belle directed by Amma Asante

I have recently seen "Belle" which I particularly enjoyed not only because of the story behind the whole plot but also because it is set in a time of legal significance in regards to the slave trade and in particular to the well known Zong massacre and the killing of an estimated 132-142 enslaved Africans preceding the subsequent claim from the insurers for the loss of the slaves (accounted for as the  ship cargo).

Though fictional "Belle" is said to have been inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle (beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray) and the evidence that the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy officer, John Lindsay and an enslaved African woman from the West Indies was entrusted to the care of William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, uncle of the previously mentioned officer.

"The weave of the personal and the political finally proves as irresistible as it is moving, partly because it has been drawn from an extraordinary life."
Belle does have a clear moral compass, but it refuses easy answers and withholds easy judgments. As such, it feels profoundly human."
"Beautidully cast, touchingly played and handsomely mounted."

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