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Courtship and the Courts

‘Politics, art, history and race all tied in a big bow.’

Crossing the Culture Rachel Helen Smith
Figure Image
Belle and Bette | photo: David Appleby, Fox Searchlight Pictures

That’s how director Amma Asante describes her latest film, Belle. Released in the UK in mid-June, it has met with huge acclaim both from audiences and film critics. Much of its success lies in the fact that it combines the traditional elements of a Jane Austen romance with a nuanced awareness of the difficult politics of the period.