Review of Bella

I went to see Bella on opening night with my wife, a close friend, and his girlfriend. On the way to the movie theater I started to tell my friend’s girlfriend about the producers personal stories. I also mentioned that the movie was obviously pro-life, but that it wasn’t didactic. I explained that Bella didn’t seek to demonize supporters of legalized abortion, only to reaffirm the value of life — I don’t even think the word abortion is ever used in the movie. I was mentioning my surprise at the fact that Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles a wide array of movie critics reviews, has given Bella a very low score when she interrupted me: “I don’t like abortion either, and I would never have one, but I hope and pray that women never looses the right to chose.” I was shocked.

I didn’t want to get into a protracted abortion debate before the movie. I wanted the let the movie speak for itself. The director and the writers had been very careful not to engage in pro-life/pro-choice rhetoric, and I didn’t want to either. Seated in the back seat of the car I held on to my pregnant wife’s hand and bit my tongue. “It’s my body, it’s my choice,” she said. I held on tighter. In the end I had to speak up and state some obvious points, “Ultrasounds show that there is another body in there, it’s not your appendix, you know.”

We walked into the movie theater and took our seats. I had seen Bella at a pre-screening during the march for life last January. I wanted to see if others, not so deeply involved in the struggle for children’s rights, would agree with my opinion of the movie.

The movie ended, and my wife turned to me and said, “that was a short movie wasn’t it?” She had liked it, especially the parts in Spanish which, being Peruvian, she understands much better than the parts in English. We walked outside and I asked the others, “so, what’ya think?” I noticed my friend had whispered a few words in his girlfriends ear before I approached them. My friend, somewhat abashed said, “I liked it.” I turned to his girlfriend and she said, “Do you really want to know?” I said, “Yeah, you won’t offend me, I didn’t direct the movie!” She took a breath and started to let out a long list of harsh criticism: it was badly acted, it was contrived, superficial, it painted pro-choicers in a stereotypical light (smoking, drinking, not knowing who the father is, etc.) it was a horrible movie!

On the way home she began another defense of abortion while criticizing the movie. Then it got personal; “you don’t oppose contraception too, do you?” she said with a sarcastic grin.

We finally arrived home, they dropped us off and we wished each other a good night. As I was walking in to my house it hit me. Wow, pro-choice is really pro-abortion. Here’s a movie that shows, without prejudice towards anyone, that life is beautiful, that the lack of love is at the root of most of our problems, and that the solution is beautifully simple and never fails, and the reaction by a self-proclaimed defender of “choice” is … total rejection. The pregnant mother in this movie, Nina, has the fortune to run into someone who offers her true brotherly love, and as a result she chooses to give life to her child. Nina chooses life.

Abortion is a choice women exercise out of desperation. When pro-choicers are confronted with the reality that pregnant mothers who are given support and love will not choose to abort their children, pro-choicers go on the defensive. They have good reason to do so, for by choosing to protect and foster life these women are reaffirming the intrinsic value of the life they carry within them, and THAT is the pro-choicer’s achilles heel. If the child is valued for what it is, abortion, which is the killing of that child, is stripped of euphemisms and is left to be seen as what it really is, on the part of the mother it is the involuntary manslaughter of their children out of desperation and ignorance, and on the part of the abortionist it is cold hearted murder.

As my wife and I strolled through our neighborhood the following night, still discussing the movie, she stopped and she told me, you know my mother, like yours, was pressured by my dad’s family to abort me. Here we were, two survivors of “choice.”


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