By J. Matt Barber
Bella, an independent film staring Mexican superstar Eduardo Verástegui, is scheduled for limited release in theatres on October 26. The movie, an inspirational drama set in modern-day New York, has what America’s been asking for but what Hollywood refuses to give.
Having won the People’s Choice Award at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, you’d think major Hollywood distribution companies would be crawling over one another for a crack at the film. But such is not the case. Bella’s central theme puts a premium on the value of human life including life in the womb and that is a value Hollywood just won’t tolerate.
Just as the Hollywood left, scoffed at The Passion of the Christ, it has largely ignored the award winning Bella. The movie’s life-affirming message just doesn’t comport with Tinseltown’s narrow leftist agenda.
But the folks at Roadside Attractions, a division of Lionsgate Entertainment, knew a good thing when they saw it and scooped up this moral masterpiece. Bella’s creators are hoping to reach as many people as possible with the film’s principal message: “True love goes beyond romance.”
In Bella, Eduardo Verástegui stars as José, a once-famous professional soccer player who finds himself working as a cook in his brother’s New York City restaurant following a tragic, career-ending accident that leaves him broke, haunted and utterly discontent.
But José soon learns that God can turn all things for good. Nina, a single waitress played by Tammy Blanchard is also down on her luck. She confides in José that she’s discovered she’s pregnant. As she is confronted with the choice between life and death for her little one, José is able to tap his own turbulent life experiences to offer Nina the wise counsel she so desperately needs.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Wendy Wright attended an advanced screening of the film. “Most movies follow a predictable story line,” said Wright. “Bella, like real life, surprises you with a subtle yet profound story of exceptional grace.”
And exceptional grace has also been one of the film’s many positive byproducts. Although the movie has yet to be released, it’s already moving hearts, changing minds and even saving lives. Co-writer and co-producer Leo Severino shared with CWA that he’s aware of at least two instances where babies are alive today because of Bella’s message of truth and love. In fact, by God’s grace, the world has now been blessed with a real life Bella a little girl named for the film whose life was spared only hours before she was scheduled to die at the hands of an abortionist.
Yes, it’s no wonder the Hollywood left wouldn’t give Bella the time of day. The movie’s timeless message is one they urgently wish to chill. It’s a message not altogether unlike The Passion of the Christ, a message which reminds us all that the selfless sacrifice of one, can mean the precious gift of life for another.
Matt Barber is one of the “like-minded men” with Concerned Women for America. He is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law and serves as CWA’s policy director for cultural issues.