Perhaps, one of the main highlights of ‘Belle’ is that it has been inspired by a true story. Given the fact that it is a historical drama, premised on slavery as its main subject, and that too in England, such notions are relatively scanty. ‘Belle’, set in 1765, on the outset is the story of a mixed-race woman named Dido Elizabeth Belle, who was an illegitimate-born daughter of an enslaved woman and a Royal Navy Captain Sir John Lindsay. While in her initial years, Dido is brought up in slums, upon her mother’s death, Dido’s father brings her to upstate London and entrusts her with his uncle William Murray, the 1st Earl of Mansfield and his wife Elizabeth. As the story advances, Dido is brought up along with the niece of Lord and Lady Mansfield named Lady Elizabeth Murray. Soon, things turn gloomy and talks turn scornful as the hunt for their promised grooms begin.
As far as slavery in England is concerned, the movie doesn’t necessarily project the crudeness and the brutalities involved with slavery per se and seemed to skim on the immoral aspects of slavery. It portrays another side of the story which is the societal enigma, the status of women as prospective brides, legacies, and the selfish motives that came into play when Englishmen-suitors chose their brides.
Speaking of movies similar to ‘Belle’ can be premised around either of slavery, oppression, societal dystopia, women empowerment, with equal rights to women despite their caste, color, creed or upbringing, a historical drama set in early 18th century centered around women or children or a movie on the royalty of England or Europe and the prevailing laws therein. Compared to the other movies premised solely on slavery, ‘Belle’ is like a warm embrace, a breath of freshness. As a part of this list, we bring you movies which are a must watch if you found ‘Belle’ fascinating, awe-inspiring, informative, historically significant, and invigorating. You can watch several of these movies like Belle on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
15. Suffragette (2015)
Based on true events and set in 1912, ‘Suffragette’ was a socio-political movement undertaken by a working class of British women to fight for their right to vote, which was considered as a social stigma back then, which would apparently lead to a “loss of social structure”. Rather than the expected peaceful movement which hadn’t yielded anything so far, the women formed radical groups and resorted to extreme yet tenable measures to garner attention, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, a notable leader of the movement. Deep and moving ‘Suffragette’ ends with a positive note, stating that the women were given their rights to vote after the end of World War I.
Read More: Movies Like Arrival