Bella


For the past couple weeks, I’ve been going through some pretty unclear circumstances that seem to be changing daily. Some good, some confusing, some bad. As such, it’s been tough for me to come up with some super-encouraging, awe-inspiring blog topic for this week.

Yes, the Immersion bloggers are human too. You know our big secret.

So, that said, I’m feeling the itch to follow Woman-of-Steele’s example and share my thoughts on a really encouraging movie I saw recently: Bella.

Before watching the movie, I was told that the director, Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, had a very specific motive in making the film. Being a Latino in America, he wanted to break the stereotype of Latinos in film. Commonly, they’re portrayed as lower-class citizens in poverty-stricken neighborhoods riddled with crime and “banditos.” In making Bella, he wanted to have the positive influence of the film be from Latinos, and have the person at the bottom of the barrel be who we commonly see as the heroes in movies: Caucasians.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, a young, single girl by the name of Nina is fired from her waitressing job after showing up late too many times in a row due to an unplanned pregnancy. The restaurant she was fired from was own by a very well-to-do Latino man named Manny, and the lead chef was his brother José. After Manny fires Nina, José walks out on his job and his brother to take care of Nina.

The movie follows the two of them as Nina struggles with the thought of having an abortion, finding a new job, and just generally getting her life in order. Through it all, José is there by her side. He even takes her to stay with his family who welcomes her with open arms. They give her a place to rest and a meal bigger than any she’s had in months.

Nina is simply blown away by their kindness. In one of the most powerful scenes, she tells José how lucky he is to have a family that loves him so much. It was in that moment that Monteverde accomplished turning the Latino stereotype on its head.

I won’t spoil the end, but I think there’s a bigger theme here. I don’t believe the movie won the plethora of awards that it did simply because it challenged racial stereotypes, although that certainly earns it a firm pat on the back for that fact alone. There’s a very simple, heart-warming quality about José that all of us long to be for another person, and long to feel when we’re in need.

It shows the power of love.

José ditches a great job, turns his back on his money-hungry brother, and puts all his priorities aside because he recognizes that Nina’s needs are far greater than his own. He shows her that even though she’s made countless mistakes and has been cast aside by everyone else in her life, he still sees her as a girl worthy of being loved and cared for, and he does just that.

If you haven’t taken time out to watch this film, I highly recommend you do so. It’s will challenge you boldly to think about your own priorities, the people in your life in need of your love, and what you’re doing [or not doing] about it.

4 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
    This is on my list of must-sees. A friend told me a quote from this movie that is unrelated to your post, but really stuck out to her and to me when she passed it along to me. It went something like this, "Whenever you make plans, God just laughs." It's a very relieving and comforting reminder to know that God is in control of everything and as his followers, we will be blessed.
    Luke Brown said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Luke Brown said...
    Yea, that's mentioned in the very beginning of the movie, but it's not a quote that's unique to this movie. I've been told it showed up in Amores Perros as well, but I was unable to find who the original author of it was. It seems to just be chalked up as a folk proverb.

    "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

    Regardless of the source, it's a great perspective to have. If someone in the movie had asked Nina her plans, I doubt they would have included accidentally becoming pregnant and losing her job. But, far out of her sphere of understanding was God's plan that would lead her to meeting one of the best friends of her entire life.
    a stranger said...
    I think that in this life (especially in this 'modern' culture) we make the mistake of assuming that our plans are part of our identity. And when those plans are not realized, we hopelessly view it as some sort of personal assault that it was never really designed to be. I can think of no better reason for the existence of verses like these [Matt 6:34 & Ecc 10:14] than this modern culture that prides itself on planning and knowing what's going to happen.

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