the Gift of BellaAs many of you know I have been a very public supporter of the movie, Bella. I saw the movie for the first time in Nashville at the 2006 NRLC Conference. I was moved by the very realistic circumstance that Nina found herself and the serious response that Jose had to her situation. Having been involved for the last 32 years in listening to women who find themselves in unexpected pregnancies, I could appreciate both the film's approach and the characters' interaction as they addressed the subject of abortion.
I met the producers and found that they also believed that the film could help the "Ninas" of the world choose life. Their goal was to make a life affirming film. Such a film can help saves lives.
As many of you know the film went on to win the Toronto Film Festival in 2006 and the Smithsonian Legacy Award in 2007. Alejandro Monteverde was invited to sit with the First Lady Laura Bush during the 2007 State of the Union and Eduardo Verastegui has had many opportunities to explain his decision to make only films that will uplift the human spirit. Together with their fellow producers Leo Severino, Sean Wolfington and Steve McEveetty, they have presented a decidedly different way of approaching movies and the film as something that affects culture.
I have spoken in recent months on how the arts can promote the culture of life. Bella is just one way in which the film as an art form can influence the culture for good.
I am not the only one who liked the film. Tony Bennett was at the New York premiere and loved the film. He called it a work of art. He loved the music which is a particular favorite aspect of the movie to me.
Now Bella has finally opened and as I am writing this blog, it is Friday, November, 2, 2007. If you have not seen Bella, I invite you to go and partake of it. You will find it quite endearing and thought provoking. It is only playing in select theaters nationwide. I have learned that even good films, when they are produced by independents do not automatically get placed in theaters. There are all sorts of machinations involved. I have been told that if Bella does well this second week that the prospects of wider distribution are excellent. so it is important that people see Bella in order to allow more people to see Bella. Go figure. But as I said in the beginning, I am always encouraged by new ways that we can advance the pro-life message. Promoting life and affirming family values as Bella does is an important part of the mix. Having people in Hollywood who will live the Gospel of Life is so important if we are to make any impact on the culture.
Bella is getting a lot of buzz around the country and there have been some very interesting interviews that have addressed some of the challenges in making the film.
The folks in Hollywood may ignore Bella. The fact that it did well the first week must be supported by a good second week for the movie types to take any notice. So as I said take a break this weekend and catch a little film with a lot of heart. Bella.