William Wilberforce is the protagonist of this film. Wait? Didn’t John Newton write “Amazing Grace?” Yes, he did after his life as a slave ship captain, being imprisoned as a slave himself, and a life changing conversion. In the film he says often that he is haunted by the 20,000 slaves he transported.
So who is William Wilberforce? He was elected to the British Parliament, House of Commons at the age of 21 and was known for his fiery rhetoric . William had lost his early Christian faith, but he like Newton had a return to it in a moment of clarity during a life crisis. Now Wilberforce began struggling with the choice of using his voice by remaining a politician or becoming a clergyman to work for a better world. John Newton encouraged him to use his voice for the abolition of slavery. This leads to a 25 year struggle of education , arguing in Parliament, and endangering his health. William Wilberforce was an ordinary man doing extraordinary things , inspired by the words of another.
“Amazing Grace” is a strong film with top English actors, well written story, and beautiful shots of London and the English countryside. Albert Finney is a convincing Newton as he lives out his life as a simple monk, living with his demons and encouraging others in their spiritual journey.
The description of the conditions on the slave ships are sobering as well as the depth of grief from John Newton’s past . Yet his joy at God’s grace are inspiring and touching.
This is a story of real people faced with spiritual decisions. It tells Wilberforce’s journey to fight injustice to abolish slavery. This is the story of a man using his faith and opportunities to change the world for good. But the sad truth is that slavery remains in our world.. . . . . the sex slave trade, people held in captivity to fish, make bricks, work in construction, as well as extreme poverty and lack of a fair and living wage.
We can be inspired by this 18th century story to step out of our comfort zone to work for justice and righteous for all.
I discovered that the complete film is available on YouTube for viewing on your tablet or computer.
I would love to hear what words inspire you.