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I have to admit: I am a total sucker for Regency romance stories. Then, if you make it a true, compelling story that teaches my kids kindness and respect for all of our brothers and sisters, and helps create empathy for others’ feelings, well…I just HAVE to share it! “Belle” is a movie that I highly recommend for teens and older.
Belle is the true story of Dido– the illegitimate, bi-racial daughter of an English naval captain from a prominent family and a slave woman– during the time when slavery was still legal in England and her colonies. When he learns of Dido’s existence and her mother’s death, the father takes Dido from her colony home and takes her to his ancestral home in England to stay with his parents, as he continues his navel career.
As Dido grows up among her white relatives, she finds that she belongs nowhere, being too high and too low in
Two really big thumbs up for this movie! You can find “Belle” on Amazon.
Sensitivity Caution: There is a place in the movie where a man grabs Dido’s breast in a very disrespectful way, as he tells her that she should be his mistress. There is also a lot of racism (obviously) and stories of the mistreatment and deaths of slaves.
-Explain the historical and political background of the age.
-Why were Dido’s guardians so perplexed as to what to do with her?
-Why did they exclude her and never expect her to marry?
-Did they love her?
-Why did Dido turn down the offer of marriage?
-Why did her cousin say such hurtful things?
-What risk was the young lawyer taking in his career, and why did he do it?
-Why did Dido decide to marry him?
-Have you seen racism (toward any race) in your community? How do you personally feel about other races than your own?
-Is there anyone you know in general who doesn’t fit in? How can you help them feel more included?
Tell me in the comments!
How have you handled racism in your community? How do you teach your children about it?