{Feature It} Bella

Although the subjects of my other recent Feature It posts have all been fairly new discoveries of mine, this week I’d like to direct your attention to something that’s held a place in my heart for a while now.

Back in 2006, a little movie named Bella came to theaters. It flew under most people’s radar, but some friends of mine had seen a trailer and asked if I wanted to go. I said sure, mostly because I rarely if ever pass up a chance to go to the movies. I didn’t know what it was about, and I was in no way prepared for what hit me.

Bella tells the story of Jose, a young Mexican chef with a dark past, and his recently fired ex-coworker, Nina. The two lost souls befriend each other after Jose finds out Nina lost her job because she is pregnant out of wedlock. If it sounds like a tear-jerker, it is. But I’ve seen few films as ultimately uplifting as this one.

Please, don’t discredit this movie as just another sappy low-budget Christian project with a good message but little or no artistry to speak of. It really is very well acted and beautifully shot, and while it touches on Christian themes, it’s a film that anyone can watch and appreciate, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Without giving too much away, Bella deals with the difficult subjects of abortion and adoption with tact, and, more importantly, grace.

In a very non-hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-Bible way, director Alejandro G. Monteverde presents his subject matter realistically and unflinchingly. Yet beneath the pain his characters experience lies hope, even joy. Focus On The Family founder Dr. James Dobson says of the film,

“In a day of Hollywood’s excesses, profanities and foolishness, this sensitive film speaks eloquently of life, love and beauty. I enjoyed it very much.”

His opinion very much echos my own.  As someone with an adopted sibling, I have been deeply affected by Bella and the beautiful story it tells. But you don’t need to have had personal experiences with abortion or adoption to appreciate this film. At its heart, Bella deals with brokenness and forgiveness, and these we can all understand.

Have you seen Bella?  If so, how did it impact you?

Are there other films, like Bella, that you would recommend being featured here?


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