Amazing Grace DVD - William Wilberforce

Book CoverAmazing Grace - The Life of William Wilberforce

Amazing Grace is a very good film, focusing on the life of William Wilberforce and his attempts to outlaw the slave trade in the UK.

The film has been criticised for showing a 'white man's view'. It has been further criticised because it doesn't show the horrors of the slave trade. These criticisms entirely miss the point of the film. If you want to see pictures of slaves being whipped this is not the film for you. However, what it does offer is a fairly sensitive and intriguing look at how Wilberforce and others sought to get bills through Parliament. It shows the campaign from their perspective. It is both depressing and also offers an inspirational story of how a small group of committed people were able to shock a nation into realising the horrors of the slave trade and finally be able to pass it through parliament.

The film is fairly accurate in its portrayal of Wilberforce; his evangelical Christianity did play a large part in his life and campaigns for a fairer society. Of course, there is much missed out in the film, but, then it could never be a comprehensive guide to slavery and its abolition. What the film does is give an insight into the motivations and frustrations of William Wilberforce and the passion of those early campaigners.

It is interesting to note that many of the political delaying tactics are very similar today. Give a nation war and it becomes easy to label anyone as a traitor 'seeking to undermine the nation'

Wilberforce wasn't a saint. He didn't support rights of trades unions and women; but, he did throw himself wholeheartedly into the campaign to end the slave trade. His motivations were selfless and borne out of his basic human sympathy. An inspirational person and an inspirational film.

Without people like Wilberforce, the abolition of slavery could have taken many years more.

Book CoverAmazing Grace - The Life of William Wilberforce

Book CoverWilliam Wilberforce by William Hague

Film about William Wilberforce - Amazing Grace

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