Mark Wahlberg stars in "Joe Bell," a new movie motivated by the true events surrounding a household in La Grande, Oregon. (Photo: well-off Polk/Getty pictures for Janie's Fund)Getty images for Janie's Fund



In the new movie “Joe Bell,” note Wahlberg stars in a story motivated by a collection of tragic events involving an Oregon family that ended up being national news. The film, which opens July 23, is based on the true story that Jadin Bell, a student at La Grande High school who had spoken about being bullied because that being gay. In 2013, Jadin died from injuries suffered from a suicide attempt.

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To respect the storage of his son, and raise awareness that bullying and its lasting affect on psychological health, Jadin’s father, Joe Bell, undertook a cross-country walk, beginning in the feather of 2013 in La Grande, and also headed for brand-new York City, where Jadin had actually said he hoped to live one day.

His father planned on make a two-year, 5,000-mile walk across the country, share the story that his son, and also spreading awareness the the damage caused by bigotry and also bullying.

Sadly, Joe Bell’s journey finished in October 2013, when the driver the a semi truck reportedly dropped asleep at the wheel, and the van struck and also killed Bell together he walked along the shoulder that a Colorado highway.

The film’s actors includes Connie Britton as Jadin’s mother, Lola, and also Reid Miller as Jadin. Reinaldo Marcus green directs, from a screenplay through Diana Ossana and the late Larry McMurtry, the team the won one Oscar because that “Brokeback Mountain.”

A article on the Oregon institution Boards combination website about the release of the movie outlines few of the procedures undertaken through students and also the La Grande school District to assist build connections and also support because that students, including a “Culture of care Framework.”

The post additionally includes a link to a statement indigenous Lola Lathrop, Jadin Bell’s mother. In it, she note that people will ask whether the events shown in the movie really happened. “And the answer to that inquiry is that this is a dramatization, a Hollywood production. Not whatever on the screen arisen in actual life. But that misses the crucial message.”

Lathrop goes on come say: “I’m not right here to location blame or point fingers. That’s not going to bring earlier Jadin or his father, Joe, and also blaming others just generates anger and does nothing to avoid what happened below in La Grande from arising in Wisconsin, brand-new York or Florida.”

The bullying Jadin experienced, Lathrop writes, “could have actually happened anywhere. And also it tho does occur, every day. This is wherein our schools and communities and our parents require to emphasis their attention, due to the fact that our young world are in ~ risk. Each of us requirements to research ourselves and also begin making changes. We have to look in ~ our very own actions and consider how they influence others, instead of spreading the first stone.”

Of the film, Lathrop writes: “I know that the human being behind this movie assumed that Jadin’s life experience, and also the walk that Joe set out on, to be both vital to call in hopes of effecting change. It is mine hope as well that v this movie civilization will be more sensitive towards those that are various from them, and not it is in so rapid to judge. I hope the the post this movie sends will make all of us more vigilant, and inclined come safeguard the wellness of young people who worthy the possibility to thrive.”

Wahlberg’s joining in “Joe Bell” has actually been generating an adverse responses indigenous some, who claim, as a new York write-up column headline says, that casting the actor together an “anti-prejudice hero” is the elevation of “Hollywood hypocrisy” considering his background of racism and violence fueled by prejudice.

The criticisms point to Wahlberg’s past, which contains a 1988 assault conviction in Massachusetts, because that which Wahlberg served about 45 work of his sentence. As Judith Beals, who prosecuted Wahlberg once she was an assistant attorney general, composed in The Boston Globe, the then-16-year-old Wahlberg attacked, apparently at random, 2 Vietnamese men on the exact same day. In the very first case, Beals wrote, Walhberg broke a five-foot pole over his victim’s head. In the second case, Wahlberg punched a victim come the ground.

The attack, Beals wrote, confirmed a “tendency toward serial plot of gyeongju violence. The two men had actually no connection except for the fact that they were both Vietnamese,” Beals wrote, including that “Wahlberg’s repetitive racial epithets” revealed a “racist motivation.”

Those attacks, Beals wrote, complied with a 1986 incident in i m sorry Wahlberg and also a group of others chased a 12-year-old African-American boy, “hurling rocks and also yelling racial epithets,” actions i m sorry were recurring the complying with day, bring about injuries to some of the students that were there.

In 2014, Wahlberg search a pardon for his 1988 conviction. As brand-new England Cable News reported, Wahlberg created in his pardon applications that he was “deeply sorry because that the actions that ns took on the night that April 8, 1988, and also for any lasting damage that i may have actually caused the victims.” The actor claimed that that has, in subsequent years, “dedicated myself to coming to be a far better person and also citizen so the I can be a function model to mine children and also others.”

In 2001, Wahlberg established the note Wahlberg Youth Foundation, which raises money because that services and also programs because that young people.

The pardon application encountered criticism, however, and also Wahlberg later on dropped his request, yet said “some good did come out of it,” because he was able to apologize in person to among his victims.

In a recent appearance ~ above “The Tonight present Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Wahlberg spoke around being relocated when he review the script for “Joe Bell.” He saw La Grande, the said, to satisfy with members of Jadin and Joe Bell’s family.

“It’s such crucial story come tell,” Wahlberg said.

The eastern Oregonian reports that Wahlberg went to La Grande in late January 2019 to carry out research because that the movie, which to be filmed in areas in Utah.

-- Kristi Turnquist

oregonian.com 503-221-8227

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