(Photo Credits: Screengrab from RoadsideFlix’s Official YouTube Account)

You don’t know what it’s like to muster up the courage to ask for help.

Have you ever heard of Joe Bell, guys? If not yet, watching this film is a good chance to learn about the powerful and moving story of the Bell family. 

Joe Bell (2020, Reinaldo Marcus Green), follows the story of a man named, well, Joe Bell who embarks on a cross-country hike across the United States by way of honoring his son, Jadin Robert Joseph Bell. 

Jadin was his 15-year-old gay son who died by suicide. At the time of his death, Jadin was a sophomore and a cheerleader at La Grande High School, in La Grande, Oregon. Jadin was reportedly “intensely bullied” on the Internet and in person because he was gay and his death had put a spotlight on gay bullying and its effect on the youth.      

After Jadin’s death, Joe resigned from his job, helped launch Walk for Change—a non-profit anti-bullying foundation, and began a journey that will take him to places across the U.S. starting from Oregon to New York. He wanted to raise awareness on gay bullying; he wanted to speak in high schools and communities about bullying and its effects. He said, “Not doing anything is not acceptable. [Those who watch and do nothing] are just as guilty. They are saying that it is acceptable.”

Mark Wahlberg stars as Joe Bell, Connie Britton stars as Joe’s wife, Lola Bell, while newcomer Reid Miller plays the role of Jadin. Gary Sinise joins the cast as a sheriff whom Bell met while on his journey. Sinise’s character, who also has a gay son, tells Joe Bell, “Jadin knew before he died that you loved him and accepted him — that’s what matters.” Bell, on the other hand, replies, “I never let him know it was OK. I gotta live with that.” 

Watch the film’s trailer below:

Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry wrote the script for Joe Bell. They won the Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain. Mr. McMurtry passed away due to congestive heart failure last March.

Joe Bell is coming to a movie theater near you this July 23, 2021. 

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