After Romania’s March for Life 2014, Studenti pentru Viata pro-life students association invited their friends and all those interested to participate in a movie screening at the Bucharest Students’ Club. The hall was full and the evening ended on an optimistic key, especially as we know some of the Studenti pentru Viata association members have often found themselves in the main character’s shoes, by helping women in pregnancy crisis.
…another busy day in New York City. Waitress Nina is late the second time in a row and Manny, the restaurant owner, fires her. Chef José, Manny’s brother, instinctively follows Nina in the street, seeing her very upset, and finds out she is pregnant. What shall be the next step? Will life or death prevail? What can make a single woman, without income or family support keep a baby she wasn’t expecting and surely did not want?
How to help a woman in pregnancy crisis
How can one help a woman in Nina’s situation? By being there, no matter what decision she makes. The film shows how José manages to stay by this woman in difficulty, without lecturing her, without even offering advice.
Should you ever be in a similar position, here’s what you can do:
– be there for the woman in pregnancy crisis and simply listen to her
– introduce her in a family environment
– offer help – from running errands to finding her a place to stay for a while
Some other things you or your friends could do: introduce her to people who may help in any way (with free medical examinations, a temporary part-time job); when she seems ready, you can speak to her about her options
How Bella was made
The movie was made in 2006 by Mexican director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, starring celeb Mexican actor Eduardo Verastegui (also a co-producer of the movie) and actress Tammy Blanchard.
Eduardo Verastegui, once designated as one of the most handsome Latino artists, said in an interview that the movie marked a turning point in his life, just as he was feeling, after 12 years of career, that fame, money, pleasure and success were not making him feel more accomplished. That was what made him get involved in artistic projects with a positive and moral message. And this led him to the main part in Bella.
While researching for his role, the actor visited an abortion clinic, where he met a Mexican couple who recognized him and changed their mind about the wife’s pregnancy termination. They even named the baby saved from abortion Eduardo, like the actor.
“The intention of the movie is to promote the values of life and family”, Verástegui declared for the pro-life magazine Focus on the Family Citizen.
The actor also declared for CBN News the film’s message is so powerful, that some women changed their mind about having an abortion after they saw it: “Babies are alive right now, jumping around – one in Miami, one in Los Angeles. That, you know, is the result of Bella”.
Talking about his life just before making the movie, the Mexican actor said: „What broke my heart was when I realized I was offending God with the talent he gave me”.
Verástegui now produces movies affirming the catholic faith, through his production company Metanoia films: „The spiritual meaning is ‘turning to God’ because that’s what happened to me. I had a conversion; I had a transformation in my heart”, he said, as quoted by Christianpost.com.
The feedback from film critics and the audience
The movie enjoyed mixed critical opinions. The New York Times described it as “a saccharine trifle” which illustrates people’s desperate need to see happy-ending stories, “no matter how ludicrous”. Yet, the same publication says the movie “wears its bleeding heart on its sleeve and loves its characters to distraction. Nothing — not even significant plot glitches and inconsistencies — is allowed to get in the way of its bear-hugging embrace of sweetness and light”.
Indeed, the audience received it in a wide embrace, the Rotten Tomatoes rating reaching 96.5 points – the highest in 2007. Bella also received the audience’s award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006.