…’BELLE’ a movie by Amma Asante

The Movie ‘BELLE’

Based on a true story…

By Paulette Harris-German (Lady Paulette)

‘Belle’ is a beautiful movie directed by British born, Director Amma Asante, (London, of Ghanaian parentage).  Some of you may remember her from the youth TV show ‘Grange Hill’, well, she’s all grown up now!…  As bringing ‘Belle’ to the big screen has heralded her coming of age, for this achievement Amma has earned the accolade of being only the third woman of African descent to have secured a feature film theatrical release here in the UK in some 109 years!  Thus making remarkable history.

‘Belle’ tells the lesser known story of a young mixed-race girl ‘Dido Elizabeth Belle’, born to an African mother, held in slavery and her English Admiral father.  Dido is thrust into a world totally alien to her and anything she has ever experienced.  Dido an orphan is raised  by her uncle Lord Mansfield alongside her white cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, during the 1800s in Kenwood House, which incidently is still situated on West London’s Hampstead Heath.  Kenwood House is open to the public on a daily basis.

Amma Asante’s patience in getting ‘Belle’ ‘in the ‘can’, has paid off.  This sprawlingly picturesque film comes to us under the shrewed eye of the films producer Damian Jones who also produced ‘ The Iron Lady’ a film about British MP Margeret Thatcher.  ‘Belle’ the movie, also brings us an ‘A List’ cast, including Tom Felton, Matthew Goode and Sarah Gado.  It stars, the RADA trained and extremely stunning Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

In ‘Belle’, Asante affords us a unique insight to an era many of us are familiar with,  yet it is from a vantage point and contexte we very rarely see a person of colour in, or their perspective.  This film however, is not necessarily a comfortable watch, that said, I was in some way appeased by the the transitional arch of Dido’s character… You will have to watch ‘Belle’ to see what I mean!

A Beautifully paced piece, the film leads us through the story’s telling in a gentle yet dynamic fashion.  It introduces us to the conflicts faced by Dido who lives a life which is juxtaposed to that of the colour of her skin.  A journey which sees the very fabric of her English birth family tested to the core, as it struggles with the changing demographics of their home.  Whilst outside the ravages of change are rattling the structures of society at large.  All of this taking place during a distinctively pivotal time in the history of Britain and the world over.

A must see film which has moved  the likes of ‘Oprah’ herself, to invite, Amma, Gugu and Sam to her home.  Gugu states… “She [Oprah] was very inspired to see a very uplifting female-centric story, a female writer, a female director, a mixed-race woman in the lead.  I think she loved the idea of celebrating the stories that uplift people and aslo celebrae what brings us together rather than what divides us.” (Radio Times)

Belle opens nationally in the UK on Friday Jue 13th 2014… Be sure to catch it.

For a taster of what you can expect, see the trailer posted.  Also, for your chance  to win a ‘Belle’ Goodie Bag see below…


To win this ‘Belle’ Goodie Bag, containing a tote back, neck scarf, cd and book (not the same as the film) just answer this very easy question:

Which television show did ‘Belle’ Director Amma Asante apear in as a child?  Correct entrants will be put into a draw.  Answers to Lady Paulette.


Useful Links:  Kenwood House, Watch ‘Bell’ at thiese cinemas


See you again here soon for even more ‘arting around with Lady Paulette






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