having a boo in nyc is great and all, but nothing beats a date night with your girlfriends. summer time is prime time for my goon squad and i, so we kicked off the season with a trip to the movies to see “belle”.
black female lead? check
black female director? check
black female screenwriter? check
“belle” was a complete #RBG production. the film chronicled the life of elizabeth dido belle, the illegitimate daughter of a slave and white naval officer born in the late 1700s. her father took her to live with his uncle, who just so happened to be the lord chief justice of england and wales, so you can imagine the drama that ensued. the dance between race and class was a constant theme in the film that easily translated to present day. there was a really cute black girl moment that bonded all of the brownies in the theater that i’m still laughing about too.
“belle” also introduced the phenomenon my friend and i like to call “white bae”. for any black girl that has dipped her toe into the pool of interracial dating, you know what #whitebae is all about. unfortunately, even with the rush of gentrification sweeping bed-stuy, the #whitebae population has yet to make its way to my hood. alas…::deep sigh:: #whitebae, shout out to you and your forefather for his role in this amazing film.
as i previously mentioned, “belle” was directed by a black woman (amma asante) and the screenplay was written by a black woman (misan sagay). like steve mcqueen in his pre-“12 years a slave” days, they were able to make a film that transcended the limitations of a “black film”. whether igniting intersectionality discussions or just pulling on your heartstrings, “belle” is a movie that we can all relate to regardless of demographic. it was shot beautifully, making dreary 19th-century england look as lush as india. gugu mbatha-raw was excellent in her portrayal of dido, kerry washington lip quivers included. i’m not much of a beggar, so i’ll just say that it’s in your best interest to check out this film. “belle” is in theaters at sunshine cinema and bam.
*editor’s note: dance africa is upon us which means that the african film fest is coming to bam! check here for the schedule.