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‘Belle’

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Belle
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson

Gugu Mbatha-Raw shines in this film based on the true story of a child born to a white British officer, Admiral Sir John Lindsay, and an enslaved African woman. Named Dido Elizabeth Belle, she was raised in the aristocratic household of her great uncle, William Murray, the Earl of Mansfield, who in his official capacity as Lord Chief Justice, weighed in on the slavery debate with a decision that some credit with leading to the abolishment of slavery in England. It is worth noting that the mixed-race Belle enjoyed nearly equal status with other family members, something that the circumstance of her birth to unmarried parents would have precluded her from even with white skin. –p.d. lee