With the likes of Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED and Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE reminding us of America’s shameful history of slavery (albeit in very different ways), we’ve another effort on the way with BELLE. Rising British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw leads in title role centred on the illegitimate, bi-racial daughter born of Royal Navy admiral Sir John Lindsay and his black mistress slave. The film explores how she fits into her Aristocratic ancestry, while being looked as an embarrassing shame.

In late eighteenth century England, Dido Elizabeth Belle is born to a white British admiral and a black Caribbean slave. The admiral’s well-bred family is appalled, but when he returns to sea, custom dictates that they raise his child as an aristocrat. Britain’s imposing Lord Mansfield (Wilkinson) is both Dido’s uncle and the family patriarch, and instructs this bi-racial woman (Mbatha-Raw) to respect both the law and the social codes of her station. She is a lady, but she is an embarrassment. How is she ever to marry?

We have the first trailer and poster from the Fox Searchlight film directed by Amma Asante from a screenplay written by Misan Sagay. The outstanding supporting cast includes Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Tom Felton, Sarah Gadon and Miranda Richardson.


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BELLE is released in the US 2nd May 2014 No word yet on a UK date.

Source: Apple