This is the story of William Wilberforce, who led the fight to stop slavery in the 18th Century, England. After a young life of debauchery, William came to Christ at the age of 25. He believed he was called by God to stop the slave trade and reform morals in England.
The movie begins with William talking to his friend, Prime Minister William Pitt, about the need to reform morals and stop slavery, and then cuts to his conversion. It shows how a group of Christians, concerned about the abolition of slavery, led by Wilberforce and inspired by the ex-slave trader, John Newton (who wrote the lyrics to the hymn “Amazing Grace”), tirelessly work year after year to get the English Parliament to abolish slavery.
The movie is deeply concerned with faithfulness. It shows William’s battles with his weak constitution and chronic pain, his struggles with laudanum (a medicinal form of opium), and the fierce opposition he faced in Parliament. In the midst of his fight for morality and against slavery, William’s wife brings joy and happiness to his life. She changes him from being a morose character to being a happy person.
Ioan (“Ian”) Gruffudd (“Griffith”) does a wonderful job as Wilberforce. In fact, the directing and acting in this movie are superb. There are two anachronistic lines. For instance, Wilberforce says that his pet hare is a million years old, but nobody at that time thought of the earth as a million years old.
AMAZING GRACE is captivating to watch and inspiring in its Christian content. Since THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, there has not been a movie with such a strong Christian testimony. Best of all, the testimony is on the side of freeing the captives, feeding the hungry, taking care of the needy, and having a practical, deep Christianity that involves faith in action. It deserves commendation.
That said, this is a historical movie, and the plot follows the history so closely that it has trouble fitting in the necessary dramatic plot points. A little judicious editing might give the movie a tighter, more dramatic storyline. Whether or not that happens, AMAZING GRACE is a great movie and will be an inspiration to all who see it.
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions; Director: Michael Apted
Executive Producer: Jeanney Kim; Producer: Ken Wales, Patricia Heaton, Terrence Malick, Edward R. Pressman, and David Hunt; Writer: Stephen Wrigh
You are welcome to address your comments to:
Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO,
Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films,
9570 West Pico Blvd.,
Phone: (310) 860-3100,
Fax: (310) 860-3195
Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, Co-President
421 South Beverly Drive,
Phone: (310) 789-4710,
Fax: (310) 789-4711
The AMAZING GRACE film will be released to the South African public on 8 June 2007. This most inspiring and encouraging film is brought to South Africa by GLOBAL CREATIVE STUDIOS (who also brought us the life-changing Faith Like Potatoes film). Global Creative Studios are committed to telling stories that inspire.
Frontline Fellowship is extremely grateful for the way in which God is using GCS to present Christian films in the local cinemas. We believe that GCS will be presenting many more Christian films in the South African cinemas. Please pray for Global Creative Studios as they use for good, that which satan has intended for evil.