I reviewed Belle for VODzilla
Black women are just one group in society whose stories are not being told in cinema, whose perspectives are largely ignored. Think of the black actresses who get leading roles in widely released films and the chances are you can name them all without too much of a problem. One person that should be added to that depressingly short list is Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the brilliant leading lady in Belle. The film follows Dido Belle, a mixed race woman who is adopted by her noble grandparents, and how she tries to work out her place in a society that doesn’t know where she fits. It proves these are stories that deserve to be told and that we can break the cultural homogeneity of genres traditionally dominated by white people – such as the Austen-esque period romance – if we just thought a little more about diversity.