2008 Ignatius Press
In the opening scene of “Bella,” there is a gorgeous view of the ocean surf with seagulls crying overhead. Eduardo Verastegui’s resonant accent is heard in a voiceover, saying, “My mother always told me, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans’”. This quote could well have come from Eduardo’s mother in real life, who while despairing over his wild lifestyle as a pop singer and Soap Opera star in
At seventeen, Eduardo Verastegui left his home on the Mexican-Texas border to find fame and fortune in
God had heard the prayers of his mother, and sent Eduardo an English language coach, Jasmine O’Donnell, who would challenge the quality of the film projects he was doing and his lifestyle, bringing him to a reversion to the Catholicism of his childhood. Fueled with the grace of the sacraments, Verastegui sought to make films, which would positively influence the culture. He changed agents and turned down many offers in
How does the making of a film become even more compelling as the film itself? When God is the architect of the plans, and the participants consult Him at every turn. Then miracles can and do happen, as Tim Drake faithfully relates in Behind Bella. The compelling narrative describes the beginning of Metanoia Films, through the production of the film and the support Bella garnered from leaders in the political world; such as Governor Jeb and President George Bush and entertainment industry legends Kathie Lee Gifford and Tony Bennett. But the influence of Bella reached far beyond the powerful. Drake describes in tender detail Bella’s life changing effect on the individual viewers. To date, nearly thirty babies were born because their parents were inspired by this film. Many of these precious babies were saved from abortion. Drake calls them “Bella babies.”
“Behind Bella” is a coffee table book with deeply personal photography of the Bella stars in reflective moments, stills from the film, and an array of group photos with celebrities including both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The story of how the film Bella was born is a powerful phenomenon, which Tim Drake has movingly captured for posterity, so that it will continue to inspire artists to offer their talents to promote the Culture of Life.
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