A New Must See Movie: Amazing Grace
Check out this amazing new movie. Also see John Piper's Reflections on the Life and Labour of William Wilberforce titled: "Peculiar Doctrines, Public Morals, and Political Welfare" and Piper's new book on Wiberforce's life. For more information on the movie see below:
"You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know." This was William Wilberforce's conclusion to his three hour debate in the Houses of Parliament before Members of Parliament voted on his Abolition Bill in 1789.
William Wilberforce was born into the age of the Great British Empire, when the country's influence around the globe was at its most powerful. It was, however, an age when the rumblings of social discontent were emerging and a time when reformers faced an uphill struggle to be heard.
A good friend and staunch colleague of England's youngest ever Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger, Wilberforce was entrusted with the policy for the Abolition of Slavery. Torn between a life of spirituality and a career in politics, he was inspired to take his desire for the equality of all mankind into the House of Commons. Seeking the advice of John Newton, a former slave trader and author of the hymn "Amazing Grace," Wilberforce became the rallying voice in Parliament for a fragmented group of like-minded people to fight for the cause and make the people of Britain, and ultimately the world, acknowledge the horror of the Slave Trade.
The sugar trade was at the heart of the British economy, and it depended entirely on slave labour. With the majority of MPs representing the sugar and slave trades opposing Wilberforce in the House of Commons, he faced a mammoth task in attempting to persuade them to abolish slavery. His prowess as an orator, coupled with his firm belief that abolition was his vocation, made Wilberforce a formidable opponent. Throughout his turbulent career, he was keenly supported and inspired by his wife Barbara's love and commitment to the cause.
Amazing Grace follows Wilberforce's career through his 20's and 30's, when he and his fellow humanitarians made the issue of slavery a talking point, not only in political circles, but also throughout the country. They waged the first modern political campaign, using prayer, petitions, boycotts, mass meetings and even badges with slogans to take their message to the country at large. Wilberforce steered this cause through the corridors of power and ultimately opened the way for the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. His success came after decades of fighting when Parliament finally passed the first anti-slavery bill in 1807.
Amazing Grace is directed by Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough, Coal Miner's Daughter) from an original screenplay written by Academy Award® nominee Steven Knight.
The film stars Ioan Gruffudd (Black Hawk Down), Albert Finney (Erin Brockovich), Romola Garai (Vanity Fair), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking), Rufus Sewell (Legend of Zorro), Ciaran Hinds (Rome) and introduces Youssou N'Dour.
Executive Producer is Jeanney Kim, with Mark Cooper as co-producer. Producers on the film are Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line) and Ed Pressman under their Sunflower Productions banner, Patricia Heaton and David Hunt for FourBoys Films, and Ken Wales.