Belle- A Timeless Message About Racial Equality

Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brianna B. comments, “There is so much that I love about this film. I love the story, the costumes, the intensity and the scenery.” Her full review follows.

Reviewed by Brianna B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14.
Video review available here:

Belle is remarkably interesting, informational and captivating.  It’s a wonderful film that I enjoy watching. I would really like to see it again soon.

Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is of mixed race and an illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. She is being raised, reluctantly, by her noble great-uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife. They find out that, surprisingly, Belle is part of their blood lineage and is entitled to certain things such as money, land and education. However, due of the color of her skin, she cannot attend some of the traditions that the family has, such as dinner with the family when guests are present.

There is so much that I love about this film. I love the story, the costumes, the intensity and the scenery. The acting is so genuinely real and all the actors make this story come to life on the big screen. The wardrobe is breathtakingly beautiful, especially the dresses that Belle wears, and has tremendous historical details that are very accurate. This story touches base on slavery and equal rights. It is by no means over-bearing or too much to handle and definitely needs to be told to everyone who will listen. My favorite character is, of course, Belle. She transitions from being a confused little girl, who is scared and alone, to a strong-minded supporter of human rights. I like her witty comebacks and how she does not settle for anything she does not want. One of my favorite scenes is when Belle is playing outside with her cousin when they are children. They go behind a tree, laughing and playing together, and when they come from behind it, they are two beautiful young women who obviously still love to play and fool around. The resemblance from the young Belle to the older one is almost exact except for the eye color.

Belle is based on a true story and sends a great message that everyone is created equal. It doesn’t matter what color their skin is or how they look or even, how they are brought up – everyone should be treated equal.

I recommend Belle for ages 10 to 18 and to anyone who likes the Eighteenth Century. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Belle comes out in theaters on May 23rd, so please check it out.

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