Monday, February 12, 2007

Amazing Grace (2007)

Tonight I saw Amazing Grace. It was a faithful and powerful history lesson reminding us that William Wilberforce is a name that should set beside those of Abraham Lincoln and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in our pantheon of civil rights leaders.

The faithful history depicted in the film leaves a story long on dialogue and short on action. If however you are like me and enjoy well written dialogue delivered by talented orators, this film will be very satisfying.

The story is so inspiring to me that it almost seems too good to be true. This has been the case with many films based on exceptional history like Seabiscuit, Miracle and Cinderella Man.

The superior aspect to this story is it's field of competition: not a track, rink or ring but a human race. The battle is waged with ideas so capturing it's rage is both difficult and important. The Wilberforce story is a treasure that has long been obscure in the popular mind. In sincerely hope this film embeds itself in our cultural literature.

The actors are superb. Albert Finney and Michael Gambon are both titans in powerful display. I was struck with the thought that had the men in the film lived in the day of Wilberforce and Penn they very likely would have been orators of Parliament. Such is their ready skill with the spoken word.

The film kept pulling me along, scene after scene, with compelling and revealing detail of the abolition of the slave trade. Some of it's scenes are the very paradigm case of the virtues they depict. Surely the film will be widely used by educators, moral, political and otherwise to illustrate how to plant and grow a movement that changes the world.

My Rating: Own It

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