I had the great good fortune this afternoon of attending an advance screening of Amazing Grace, a compelling presentation of William Wilberforce’s campaign to end the slave trade. Excellently acted and visually stunning, the movie succeeded on every count I could think of. The scenes in parliament were well-done. Wilberforce’s faith was sympathetically and powerfully portrayed. And the film did an excellent job of showing how "mere politics" could advance an idealistic cause. The movie provides an excellent vehicle for provoking conversation about moral leadership and the relationship between religion and politics.
My wife absolutely loved it, and has already proclaimed that we’re going to add the DVD (when it’s available) to our family library. And while it was just a tad "old" for my kids (9 and 11), it held their attention and led to teachable moments on the way home.
Not surprisingly, the movie is connected with a Wilberforcian campaign, intended to abolish contemporary slavery. For those of you who are suspicious on one side or the other about the politics of this effort, the company behind it is Philip Anschutz’s Bristol Bay Productions. One of the producers is Patricia Heaton.
The movie opens February 23rd. My wife has already emailed everyone she knows to recommend that they see it. I’m planning to organize groups from my university and my church to attend, preferably on the opening weekend.