The movie Amazing Grace tells the enthralling story of the life of William Wilberforce, an enthusiastic abolitionist. His lifelong struggle to end British slave trade inspired the hymn that most everyone is familiar with. Driven by the belief that God’s grace is sufficient for anyone to be saved, Wilberforce devotes his life to a noble cause with the assurance that grace will “lead us home” in the end as is written in the hymn.
The characters and the universal, hope-inspiring themes create an exciting, successful film that leaves the viewer feeling rejuvenated. William Wilberforce is a kind-hearted person with a love for providing humanitarian aid. In the movie, he feeds poor people and encourages people to treat animals with kindness and respect. From his attitude and his actions, Wilberforce introduces the theme that a passionate individual can, with God’s help, change the world if he or she is willing to persevere.
Wilberforce emphatically insists that God created all men as equals and as such, he made it his life’s work to convince the Parliament to get rid of slavery. During the time period in which the film takes place, millions of African-Americans were taken and forcefully put into slave labor on sugarcane plantations. The conditions were inhumane and most died during the sea passage before ever reaching land. It is striking to think that one brave man, upheld by moral integrity, was able to stop this cruelty and change the course of history.
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At the young age of twenty-one, Wilberforce is elected into the House of Commons with goals that he believes can be achieved. His primary goal is to get the institution of slavery abolished. He is old enough to know what he wants done, yet still young enough to believe that he can do it. John Newton, William’s childhood friend, acts as a mentor to him and is the primary reason that he puts his convictions into action to abolish slavery.
The relationship between them in the movie is stirring as their scenes together include grappling with the dynamic between faith and action as well as social responsibility. The Prime Minister is also an important character who introduces the theme of political survival versus doing what is right for a great cause. The most inspiring part of this movie is the eventual success in ending slave trafficking and slavery itself. Wilberforce ended up being the person to drive abolitionist legislation into play.
Luckily, Wilberforce lives to see the day that his is legislation passed and legalized just days before he passes away. Wilberforce was so devoted to the cause that he sacrificed his personal health. Amazing Grace is an excellent film that restores a little bit of faith in humanity. With its positive themes and remarkable characters, the viewer is inspired by the encouraging message of persistence, faith, and the ability of an individual to change a nation through the grace of God.
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