Last Sunday we finally had a chance to check out the new movie bella. In a thought?
A simple, yet profound story. A story that shows people struggling, hurting, making mistakes yet not taking what appears to (but in reality isn’t) the only way out. Redemptive suffering on the screen, not in a dry theological treatise, but in everyday lives. Lives that have texture and depth, lives that you can’t help but care about.
The story works on many levels. On the surface the characters are very believable and the story makes sense. But perhaps better than that, with time the story gets better. A week after seeing the movie, I like it even better than I did when the lights when up.
My guess is that this “long finish” is due to the deep faith of Alejandro Gomez Monteverde , Leo Severino, and Eduardo Verástegui – the three amigos who met, formed Metanoia Films, and made this as their first effort – and their commitment to make films that can make a difference. This film is neither the lightweight, simplistic drive-by story so common in popular Hollywood culture, nor is it a cynical destruction of society, trying hard to shock the culturally numb – rather, it’s simply a great film.
I think my favorite part of the back-story is one that Eduardo Verástegui told in his Life on the Rock interview a few weeks ago. This little vignette probably encapsulates the spirit of this movie more than any conventional film elements.
In order to prepare for the scene in the abortion clinic Verástegui joined some sidewalk counselors one day. After awhile a couple from Mexico approached the clinic for an abortion. Since they didn’t speak much English people went and got Verástegui When he got there the couple from Mexico was shocked, as they recognized him for his days as a telenovela (soap opera) star in Mexico. After some emotional conversation the couple turned away to think things over.
Eduardo gave them his phone number and they parted. Months passed and no word.
Then one day a call from the hospital … it was the (now) father of a beautiful baby boy, asking permission to name the miracle baby Eduardo. Before you could say two words Eduardo (the actor) was at the hospital looking into the eyes of his new namesake. Mull that over a bit, and keep in mind that this was not in the movie … it was real life.
For more on the film check out some actual reviews, including these by Amanda Shaw (of First Things), Frederica Mathewes-Green (of Christianity Today), Steve Greydaunus, Thomas Peters.
Please Go See This Movie
By all means, please, please do everyone a favor and go see this movie. Not just because it’s won a bunch of secular awards (it has), not just because it tells a great story (it does), not just because it’s exceedingly well shot (it is), not just because the actors could stand tall in any company – rather, see this film because it will give you insight into what it means to be human in this fallen world.
Savor the film, then encourage everyone that you know to see it. After all, if we’re serious about wanting better movies then we absolutely need to support the ones that are made.