Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bella

Happy New Year! We are kicking off 2009 with a theme of "Change". To illustrate what a changed life looks like, our Film of the Month is Bella, a contemporary story of faith, family, and friendship that is quite rare in today's modern cinema.

STATS
Year: 2006 (Rated PG-13)
Directed by Alejandro Monteverde
Starring Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard
Setting: New York City, 2006.

Winner: Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Award, 2006.

Content warning: The story is centered around a woman who is considering having and abortion and this may be sensitive for certain viewers. Some images involving a car accident may be disturbing. Language is squeaky clean!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. Very interesting Christian imagery and symbolism. There is an intriguing use of a headscarf in the film, as well as strong references to a butterfly. A blind homeless man holds a sign that reads, "God closed my eyes and now I can see." Some critics have commented on Jose's character as being a type of Christ figure. The film opens with the line, "My grandmother used to say, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

2. Strong pro-life message. The script treats the subject with great sensitivity and wisdom. The arguments for abortion are presented by Nina (Tammy Blanchard) however, Jose (Eduardo Verastegui) is able to counter her reasoning not with words, but with demonstrations of love that make adoption a compelling alternative.

3. Vanity vs. Selflessness. Flashbacks tell us the story of Jose's vain and arrogant past, but now he is a changed man. It is interesting to see how our passions change when our perspectives change.

4. Beautiful portrayal of family, as well as Mexican culture!

TRIVIA
None of the music in the trailer is actually featured in the film. This almost makes the trailer a unique work in itself.

Eduardo Versategui had his own life changing experience as he was preparing for this role (we will highlight the life and work of Verastegui in a separate post this month).

The movie was produced by Metanoia Films. Metanoia is the Greek word for repentance.

This film was based on a true story.

Here is the official trailer:



Click here to visit Bella's official website.

5 comments:

Geraldine said...

I have got to watch this film! I can't wait for you to share his life changing experience (and the clip!) preparing for this role....it's amazing!!!!

Jennifer said...

Geraldine, I think you will find the use of the butterfly in this movie very interesting, considering a post you wrote back in May. In that post, you shared with us a poem written by your friend Juliette. The poem was about a catepillar turning to a butterfly. I find it interesting that the poem's title just so happens to be Belle.

Lorna said...

Saw this movie and thought it was GREAT. I remember the part where Jose had a choice to keep driving or stop. Interesting how he kept the car all those years then Nina appears and he drives it.

More than anything - this film made me think how harsh and unforgiving we are to our selves.

Jennifer said...

Lorna, I've been thinking about your comment for a few days and you are right. It is important to "forgive ourselves." This is more likely about allowing ourselves to be free from guilt because there is no condemnation in Christ. Yes, it is interesting that once Nina appears he drives the car -- he sees that she is now an opportunity to do something positive with his life, instead of wallowing in his past failures. And Satan would love it if we all just stayed stuck in the past.

Jennifer said...

We just got an email from a reader who was concerned that some viewers might be confused by our choice of film for this month. I just want to make it clear that we do not advocate self-redemption, but redemption through faith in Jesus Christ alone. None of our films of the month (with the exception of Fireproof) are Christian films. For our complete film policy, please click here.