In March 2008, Ultrasound, Ireland's student pro-life network, spent a busy month organising and promoting the screening of the award winning movie, Bella in two of Ireland's largest universities, NUI Maynooth and Dublin City University, and in Potter's Hall in Dublin city centre to a large group of young Christians, among other venues. Bella is an independent movie starring Latin American superstar Eduardo Verástegui and is the deserved winner of the coveted People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2007, along with many other prestigious awards. Its message is this: 'One person can change your life forever.'
The pro-life movie was heavily promoted by Ultrasound volunteers on the college campuses. We passed out flyers and engaged with students, encouraging them to attend this inspirational film. The opportunity to see a free, award-winning movie proved an effective method of attracting students to a pro-life event and Ultrasound members were delighted to show the movie in both colleges to packed lecture theatres. Students welcomed Bella's positive, life-affirming message whole-heartedly, and the movie received a round of applause after each screening.
Bryan Kemper of StandTrue Ministries brought Bella to Ireland on behalf of Metanoia Films at our request. He had worked on grassroots promotion of the film in America and witnessed personally the effect of its inspirational message there. At the screening he was delighted to tell the hundreds of students that it was a privilege to bring Bella to a pro-life country, and to work with Ultrasound.
This movie has already proved itself to be a valuable tool in the campaign against abortion in the US, having saved the lives of some fourteen babies when their mothers viewed the movie. In Ireland it proved an exciting facet of Ultrasound's innovative campaign to educate students about the truth of abortion in Irish universities and colleges. Ultrasound members were thrilled with the reception of the movie around the campuses. Stephanie McNamee, president of NUIM pro-life society and Ultrasound member said: "So many students were genuinely moved by the movie's message; and it has really got the students talking about the issues." The movie by-passed the outdated and clichéd arguments so many use to justify abortion. Instead it presented in an artistic, intelligent and thought-provoking approach how opting for the loving, life-affirming choice of adoption can mean giving the precious gift of life to another."
Bella's central theme is promoting increased respect, love and dignity for all human life - born and unborn. And it does so in a most attractive and entertaining fashion. However, a date of the Bella University tour was unfortunately forced to cancel at the last minute. University College Dublin (UCD) chose to withdraw the event on the day of the screening because of pressure from extreme-left wing members of the UCD students union. How ironic that those who claim to be so liberal-minded are the first to censor pro-life.