United Kingdom, 2013, 105 Minute Running Time
Topic: Woman Director
Program: World Cinema Now
Returning to active duty in the Royal Navy, Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) requests that his great uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson) take care of his illegitimate daughter, Dido. They accept, although they are more than a little surprised to learn that the girl is black.
Birthright trumps bigotry in this fascinating and engaging British costume drama, which bundles comedy of manners, romance, social critique and historical insight into one attractive package. Not much is known about the real Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761-1804), but it is clear that the Mansfields accepted her as one of their own, and in Amma Asante’s film she enjoys status and wealth, but these privileges sit uneasily with the slavery and prejudice that are the norm.
Newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw is enchanting in her first big-screen starring role, and Asante has been named one of Variety’s Top Ten Directors to Watch on the basis of her work here. "A radiant, star-making central performance… a handsomely crafted, beautifully written film."
- Allan Hunter, Screen
Filmmaker(s) attending: Director
DIRECTOR: Amma Asante
Producer: Damian Jones, Jane Robertson, Robert Norris
Editor: Pia Di Caula, Victoria Boydell
Screenwriter: Misan Sagay
Cinematographer: Ben Smithard
Music: Rachel Portman
Principal Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sam Reid, Tom Felton, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton, Miranda Richardson
Filmography: A Way of Life (2004)
Official Film Website
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