Published on February 24th, 2007 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Amazing Grace: The Story of William Wilberforce

Last night, Alex and I watched the film Amazing Grace with our family. Simply put, we were blown away by the quality of content and presentation in this powerful film about Christian abolitionist William Wilberforce.

The Story: Wilberforce and the Abolition of Slavery

Amazing Grace recounts the true story of William Wilberforce’s fierce, two-decade long battle as a member of the British parliament to abolish the slave trade in Britain’s vast empire. The film chronicles Wilberforce’s humanity and his heroism; his struggles and doubts, but also his determination and faith—despite years upon years of defeat, ridicule, and treachery.

This kind of story, which matches a politically correct (and morally correct) anti-slavery message with a powerful Christian protagonist, demonstrates a beautiful tension which is verbalized in multiple reviews of the film:

ContactMusic.com: “A film with a premise like this one navigates dangerous territory. No reasonable, sane, or decent person alive today would disagree with Wilberforce’s contention that slavery is a wicked affront to humanity, but nearly everyone alive today is likely to be annoyed by a character animated solely by the goodness of his bleeding heart. Who cares to watch a movie about someone like that?

Nevertheless, there’s something pleasurable about watching Wilberforce’s crusade for all that’s good and right and holy and decent. Whatever your religious or political beliefs may or may not be, it’s nice to dream of a world in which a politician is motivated by his deepest convictions rather than by opinion polls, party lines, and special interest groups.”

New York Times: “The film’s Wilberforce is a fanatic, a true believer, a crusader, a man of action and God, of stirring principle and tireless will. He’s at once pure and seductive, a dashing, romantic figure with a long black coat who talks to God while lying in his garden and keeps rabbits for pets. This matinee idol version might be wildly simplistic, even borderline caricature, but there is also something unfailingly attractive about a film character so wholly devoted to good.”

Over his lifetime Wilberforce launched more than 65 social initiatives, including the first animal welfare society, the first Bible Society, and the first National Gallery of Art. He also helped reform penal laws and child welfare laws. He is a hero that even secular film critics can respect and modern Christians would do well to emulate.

The Film: A Beautiful Masterpiece

Most refreshingly, Amazing Grace, is presented with a level of artistic excellence that matches its positive message step-for-step. Manohla Dargis, writing for the New York Times, comments, “It would be easier to dismiss Amazing Grace… if it weren’t also filled with so many great British actors larking about in knee breeches and powdered wigs; if it weren’t, in other words, an entertainment.”

Devotees of “costume dramas” will recognize beloved actors from Persuasion, Vanity Fair, Middlemarch, Great Expectations, and Elizabeth I, among other productions. Amazing Grace boasts exceptional cinematography, a beautiful score, and a well-written script that is neither maudlin about the horrors of the slave trade nor preachy about the Wilberforce’s motivation of faith. (Source: Solo Femininity)

ContactMusic.com: “Aside from the hotly debated The Passion of the Christ, recent films with an explicitly “Christian” bent have been wholly unwatchable dreck. Christian filmmakers, like the makers of Left Behind and The Omega Code, have sold their fellow believers short, gambling that any movie with the “right” message — no matter how terrible and unprofessional the film may actually be — will attract the faithful in droves. That hasn’t happened. Which is what makes Amazing Grace, well, kind of amazing. While it probably won’t attract the faithful in droves, it’s likely to please the audiences it does attract, and it’s certainly not terrible and unprofessional.”

While we hope that ContactMusic is wrong in one sense—Amazing Grace deserves to, and hopefuly will, “attract the faithful in droves”—they are absolutely right in recognizing that most “Christian” films lack the competence to match their good intentions. Amazing Grace is a triumph for Christian competence in the arts.

The Message: Sacred and Secular Collide

William Wilberforce was a man who allowed his faith to inform his politics and then used his influence to address the greatest injustices of his time. As a result, Amazing Grace issues a sobering challenge to modern Christians to be “men of God and of action”—to inculcate not only the character to be offended at our world, but the competence to change it.

PluggedInOnline: “Amazing Grace reminds us that God’s calling on our lives is not neatly divided into sacred and secular categories. Wilberforce initially submits to this false dichotomy. But thanks to his friends’ exhortations, he realizes that his passions for God and for justice can be fused together. Sacred and secular subsequently crash into one another—forcefully at times. Wilberforce’s faith, then, ends up not only leaving a deep imprint upon British society, but upon this film as well.”

The three pillars of The Rebelution’s message: character, competence, and collaboration, are all powerful represented in this film. The latter beautifully portrayed by the David-and-Jonathan-like friendship between Wilberforce and William Pitt the Younger—two of the youngest members in parliament who together decided to accomplish the impossible.

Action Steps: Watch, Learn, and Act

1.) Go Watch The Film: In the words of Carolyn McCulley, “get thee to the movie theater pronto,” and enjoy one of the best movies to come out of Hollywood in decades. Gather a group of friends and go watch Amazing Grace together. This is a film you can invite both Christians and non-Christians to see.

2.) Read More About Wilberfoce: Some historical accuracy was sacrificed in Amazing Grace for the sake of artistic license. Alex and I recommend John Piper’s new biography, “Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce.” It is less than 100 pages long, but it provides a much fuller picture of the God-centered reasons for Wilberforce’s tenacity.

Carolyn McCulley: If there’s a weak spot in the movie, it’s the portrayal of Wilberforce’s conversion as being something that makes him want to sit in wet grass and contemplate spider webs. I don’t expect much better from Hollywood, but the truth as Piper reveals it is much grander in scope.

So go see the movie to enjoy a well-crafted film, but then get John Piper’s book to better comprehend the grace that caused a man to be faithful to God’s call on his life for decades.”

3.) Get involved in fighting modern slavery. Amazing Grace sends the powerfuly message that one determined person can make an enormous difference in the shape of history—especially when he’s surrounded by friends who help him when he stumbles. Modern abolitionists like 15-year-old Zach Hunter are continuing the battle Wilberforce begun hundreds of years ago. Not only does corruption and cruelty still exist, but slavery itself is rampant in many parts of the world.

PluggedInOnline: “Though slavery was officially banned in Great Britain in 1807 and in the United States in 1865, deep injustices still keep millions in bondage around our globe today.

Whether it’s genocide in places such as Darfur, Sudan; or the exploitative sex trafficking of women and girls in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia (among other areas), slavery and savagery still lurk. We may be tempted to believe our involvement in such issues can’t accomplish much, but Wilberforce’s story inspires us to believe that real change is possible.”

The Amazing Change is a campaign to carry on Wilberforce’s vision for mercy and justice. Visit AmazingChange.com to add your name to The Petition to End Modern Slavery and get involved in other ways.

Find A Theater / Plugged-In Online Review

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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • http://jesusfreakatrina Katrina Rowe

    Oh you guys beat me! I was JUST writing a post about this movie. Great review. It really was the best movie I think I’ve ever seen! :D

  • Ella G.

    My family and I just got back from seeing it. Amazing Grace was a fantastic movie, and those who are considering going to the theaters should! Wilberforce’s courage, bravery, his friendship with William Pitt, and his desire for faith and politics to be bound together are to be commendable! Amazing Grace was a great way to spend a dreary afternoon.

  • http://www.beautyfromtheheart.org Kristin B.

    I’m looking forward to viewing the movie – it sounds phenomenal :)

  • Rosa Dei

    “get thee to the movie theater pronto” — I like that!

  • Kelsey D.

    This sounds like such an awesome movie! I can not wait to see it!!

  • Karen Kovaka

    Mmm…now I’m even more excited about seeing the movie! I’m so pleased that it meets high standards for both form and content. Thank you for the post!

  • http://amaidenofthelord.blogspot.com/ Erin K

    Several folks from our church are planning to go see the movie together next Saturday. I for one am looking forward to seeing it. John Piper has a booklet on the story of William Wilberforce here’s the link….

    http://www.desiringgod.org/Store/Books/693_Amazing_Grace_in_the_Life_of_William_Wilberforce/

  • http://amaidenofthelord.blogspot.com/ Erin K

    Oh…I suppose I should read your entire post. I saw you already posted it. Sorry.

  • http://www.alexchediak.com/blog Alex Chediak

    I agree the film was well done, but I think they could have done a better job at showing how theologically driving Wilberforce was.

  • http://www.elisabethartblog.blogspot.com Elisabeth

    Ah, unfortunately *as usual* our local theater is not showing it, and the nearest one is Seattle, several hours away. But I am planning on seeing it as soon as it comes out on dvd! :)

  • http://maidensofworth.blogspot.com/ Anna Lofgren

    We saw it the opening night, and it was astounding!

  • http://www.hannahbananalee.blogspot.com Hannah

    I saw Amazing Grace on Friday evening and yes, it’s… amazing!! It had great acting, powerful music, wonderful costumes, and best of all: the story of Wilberforce’s perseverance was inspiring!

    This doesn’t really have anything to do with your guy’s post, but that Amazing Grace header at the top is great! Compliments to the graphic designer; he/she has great simply, elegant taste. :)

  • http://reflectionsfromkt.blogspot.com Katie

    I received an e-mail from the Internation Justice Mission just a few days ago about this. They are reminding people of the same thing that you said in this post–that as great a story as Amazing Grace is, we should remember that slavery still goes on throughout the world today.

    By the way, for those who wish that they could do more for the abolition of slavery, you might want to sign up to read the prayer updates from IJM. Prayer is a wonderful way to get involved. Even if we can’t go to these countries and personally free the slaves, I believe in the power of prayer, and I think that great things can be accomplished when we are on our knees! You can sign up to be an IJM prayer partner at http://www.ijm.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?&pid=232&srcid=178.

    I wish that I could see Amazing Grace, but they aren’t playing it anywhere near where I live. :( It is playing in a theater a few hours away from us; maybe we could go see it there. Other than that, I guess I’ll just have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

  • Amanda Howell

    I can’t wait to see it! I believe a theater not to far from us is playing it, I just have to ask my parents if they can take me to see it:) The movie sounds great, I’m glad it’s had positive feed back.
    God Bless

  • http://360.yahoo.com/texginagirl Gina

    Oh, I haven’t seen it yet… but, oh I will! :D

  • Gabby

    Just got back from seeing the movie, and I was exceedingly impressed! Perhaps I got a little different point from the movie, but I decided something once and for all. One of the greatest things on earth, is a man who despite discouragement, disappointment and defeat keeps doing what God has called him to do. Besides knowing Jesus, there is NOTHING greater in the world. William Wilberforce was such a man.

  • http://www.aletheialiberty.blogspot.com BrittLeigh

    I’ve heard a lot about this movie and can’t wait to see it sometime. Thanks for sharing this review…. You guys are a credible source!

  • http://www.maidenofhonor.blogspot.com Tai Sophia Polczynski

    My parents went to see the movie yesterday and they were quite impressed with it! I don’t know if I’ll be able to see it before it comes out on DVD…but I want to look into John Piper’s book about William Wilberforce…which is what I’m going to do as soon as I get off of the Rebelution!
    :)

    ~Lady Tai

  • Melody

    Such a good movie! I highly recommend it!

  • http://www.tashisterrifictimes.blogspot.com Natasha Victoria

    I can not wait to see this movie! It looks fantastic.

    And I am excited to see check out the petitions and other things having to do with modern day slavery.

  • Karen

    It was a wonderful, eye-opening movie. Unfortunately for me, every time Miachel Gambon spoke I pictured him in a long white beard and a pointy hat… :D Also, our pastor did a sermon about the hymn Amazing Grace the next day. I agree that this is one of the more professionally done Christian movies. Go see it if you haven’t.

  • http://none Livvy

    I want to see this one so bad! But, It’s not in our theater:( I’m hoping to go downstate to see it..

  • Matthew

    Hey Fellas,

    As Christians, truth is of utmost importance to us…all of it. Unfortunately, with the issue of slavery in the American South, there are a whole lot of lies, and even more tragically, many of them are spread by professing Christians. I’d like to add just a couple of things to this discussion.

    First, thank God William Wilberforce caught up with and built upon the efforts of the South. You may not know, but most of the Southern states outlawed the slave trade, or attempted to, only to be vetoed by the King. It was only after the slave trade had been literally forced down their throats that the South came to be reliant on the system for much of its economy (although a tiny fraction of the Southern population actually owned slaves)

    Second, the Confederate Constitution outlawed the slave trade before the U.S. Constitution.

    Third, the Emancipation Proclamation was not a great act of Christian compassion. It was calculated to foment slave rebellion, which didn’t happen (for reasons I’ll mention below). Lincoln’s emancipation excluded those territories under Union occupation, and did not free a single slave outside of the Confederate States of America. Nor did it free any within the C.S.A., because one country’s government has no authority over the citizens of a separate sovereign nation, which the C.S.A. was.

    Fourth, all of the “slave accounts” most relied on at the time and even today by the abolitionists have since been proven to be falsifications, oftentimes dictated to the illiterate slaves to make sensational headlines and justify the continued slaughter of men (the War is still the single bloodiest conflict ever in this country…many who died were slaves and freed blacks fighting for the Confederacy). The importance of this is that there are a lot of lies about slave life in the Old South still getting mileage.

    Fifth, in the “Slave Narratives,” a document compiled in the early 20th Century by the U.S. Government in the hopes of demonstrating what a wonderful thing it had done, the overwhelming majority of freed slaves described life as a slave in the Old South as preferable to their new lives. Many continued living with the families that once owned them. The document is available through the Library of Congress.

    Sixth, I think it would be irresponsible to equate slavery in the Old South with the modern form. A good look at slavery in the Old South will show a remarkably good life…In fact, many Northerners who opposed slavery did so on the grounds that it wasn’t economically efficient because slaves worked too little and got too much. They worked an average of 6 hours a day, had cradle to grave medical care, food, shelter, clothing and even education (they learned a skilled trade almost always, and often received a fair amount of “book learning,” as well). They were generally allowed to ply their own trades on their free time, and keep their earnings. They were taught the Bible and Christian doctrine and morals, and contrary to the sensationalism, families were generally encouraged to stay together, and they did that to a much greater degree than do black families today living in “freedom.” The point is, they are very different.

    Seventh, the slave trade itself was almost entirely a northern and English enterprise. Not a single slave-trading vessel sailed from Southern ports, and most sailed from none other than Boston Harbor. Often, particularly in the early days of the colonies, slaves were literally forced on the population of the Southern states. They were given three options: 1) Buy them 2) Have them released on your community (remember that at the time the Africans were still very much a savage population) or 3) We will dump them in the sea. Given those choices, which would we choose? Granted, it did not always have to be “forced,” but by the time the War broke out, the percentages of slaves being released to their freedom was rising annually.

    Lastly, it is important to note that those who opposed slavery in the Old South opposed its thorough Christianity, as well. The abolitionists employed biblical imagery when convenient, but, as has been well-documented by Eugene D. Genovese and others, the abolitionists appealed to the principles of radical human autonomy idolized in the French Revolution for their animating principles, while the defenders of biblically-regulated domestic slavery did so on the sure foundation of God’s Word, which not only does not condemn it, but positively asserts the duties of a slave to faithfully obey and serve.

    In conclusion, I am not an advocate of slavery, just of truth, and there has been a lot of distorting on this issue. Problems with race relations and numerous other problems of our society’s trace back to the war against the tenacious biblical Christianity permeating the antebellum South. I am glad slavery is gone, and pray we will never become slaves to tyranny in the church or state, nor to sin, including that of deception. Sometimes the hard thing to do is to know the truth and maintain it in the face of overwhelming scorn.

    Lies enslave the mind and soul, but the Truth will set you free, indeed. God bless you both.

    M.A.B.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Matthew, I appreciate your comment, but I encourage all of us to not get distracted from the purpose of this film and this post. Let’s leave it at that.

  • ColeC

    I think it’s important to note that we sat back so long IGNORING the SIN of slavery. Similarly, the modern day slave trade (which is larger today than ever) is also being conveniently ignored, as was the genocide of Jews in Germany and Christians in Uganda. Today we have communist Cuba, China and North Korea where Christians live with very little freedom, at best. The bondage in ‘western’ countries of limited freedom, e.g. it’s against the law to homeschool in Germany or pray in school here in America, pale in comparison.

    We sit pretty cozy in our godly homeschooled homes shaking our head over daily publicized atrocities forgetting or ignoring that these are real places with real precious children of God with real pain. There are Christians in prison right now for their faith, and somewhere out there there’s probably someone being tortured for their faith in Christ AT THIS MOMENT! Why bring up this ugly uncomfortable reality? Because WE WILL ultimately ask and answer the question ‘So, what am I going to do about it?’ whether you realize it not. We are citizens of a republic, and one of the most powerful states in the world. We do have an influence – and we will have to answer for that influence. “What did you do with what I gave you?” God’s word states that to whom much is given, much is expected. Is it necessary to mention legalized abortion or child predators in our own country? GOD DOES JUDGE NATIONS, AND OUR NATION HAS FALLEN FROM HER STATUS AS A GODLY ONE! Our founders, those men impelled by moral outrage to action, would be ashamed! Heartfelt emotions are are good but useless without action, and the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

  • http://treefortenterprises.com Ben Hodsdon

    We are not allowed to see the movie yet because we are too young. We are reading some books about Mr. Wilberforce though. I wanted to tell you how much we love your blog. We nominated it for the thinking blog award.

    Love Ben

    http://treefortenterprises.com/2007/02/27/thinking-blogger-award.aspx#Trackback

  • Anna

    I saw this movie last week and it was great! The only thing I was was a little disappointed in was that it didn’t show actual slaves being freed and the effect it had on them. I wanted to see the changes taking place in the lives of the slaves, but I guess their focus was more on the act of abolishing slavery and Wilberforce’s life. This is a great family-friendly movie, and I’m so glad to see movie theaters showing a clean, uplifting film!

  • Cynthia Jones

    I saw this movie and I loved it. I took my friend, who is an atheist, to see it on Sunday and she has been telling all her friends how good it is. The only thing we didn’t like was we thought the scene order was a little confusing, but the overall effect of the movie outwighed that.
    Thank you, Alex and Brett, for posting on this movie

  • Emily

    My family and several of my friends saw Amazing Grace on Saturday, and everyone really enjoyed it. Even my dad, who is quite the little movie critic, thought it was very well done. I’ll definitely buy it when it comes out on DVD.
    One thing that annoys me greatly is the fact that this movie only played at one theater on our entire island (I live in Hawaii), and at that theater for only five days! The time span was so short that many people didn’t even get the chance to check it out. It’s too bad the theater didn’t keep it longer.

  • http://amaidenofthelord.blogspot.com/ Erin K

    I finally saw the movie on Wednesday afternoon. It was very inspiring. Of course I cried at the end and again when the bag pipes played Amazing Grace…that was Awesome! My family will definitely being buying this one for our DVD library! :D

  • Katherine

    Yes, this movie is definitely a must-see! It was very moving and beautifully done. The people in the theater even clapped when it was over!

  • Matthew

    Alex–

    I appreciate your appreciation ;>)

    Perhaps we disagree on the importance of truth and accuracy, because I fail to see it as a distraction in any discussion. If you exhort to “do the hard thing,” I submit that thinking carefully is one of the hardest things to do, and precious little of it is done on this subject.

    Uncomfortable and inconvenient, and perhaps not easy to condense into snappy talking points, but very necessary for the serious Christian, which I believe you want to be and encourage others to be. For those reasons, I do not see the post as a distraction. Instead, I would hope you would encourage your readers to find and know the truth and then think and act accordingly.

    M.A.B.

  • Sarah Simon

    I was really looking forward to seeing the movie until I heard that it had some bad language. Is that true?

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Matthew: Truth and accuracy are very important, but we do not focus our conversations on every truth and every accuracy for every topic on every occasion. In this instance, our focus is on the truth of William Wilberforce’s faith and life and on the ongoing battle against modern-day slavery. :)

    Sarah: There is a small amount of profanity in the film. I would recommend looking into it somewhere like ScreenIt.com. It was not a problem for our family, but it very well may be for others’.

  • LML

    Sarah: There was a few words I found offensive (like, maybe 3 or 4, can’t remember). I don’t understand why the filmmakers found it necessary to use profanity, but on the whole it was an excellent, inspiring film, and I’d add my hearty recommendation, but personally I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children (my eight y.o. brother, for example) partly because of the language, and partly because some of the content is kinda heavy.

    Also: I’ve never studied William Wilberforce, and I am wondering how historically accurate the movie is and how well it portrays the actual characters of the men involved. Anybody happen to know?

  • someone

    “how historically accurate” – would B. Spooner have appreciated the modesty survey? Or was she historically accurate? but, it was a great film…

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    LML: The movie takes a good deal of artistic license in many areas. Do not use it as a history lesson. However, by all means, let it spark a desire to read more about Wilberforce. We included information in the post for where best to do that. :)

  • LML

    Alex: Thanks!

  • http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/4girlsonly/ Melanie H.

    I loved this movie! Definiately worth watching!

  • Stephanie

    I loved this movie! I had not really heard of William Wilberforce before and now I am in the process of reading Amazing Grace in the life of William Wilberforce by John Piper.

  • Anna

    I just came back from seeing it. Wasn’t keen on the idea, but Mom said we were going.
    I’m blown away. That is one of the most intelligently made movies I’ve seen in a long time. We hadn’t even been to the theatre since The Incredibles came out, but this was worth it. Thoughtful, spirited without being over the top, forceful without being graphic, and in places humorous. Plus the PG rating in an age littered with R.

  • Pingback: Amazing Grace « A Lady in Waiting

  • Caleb M C

    Does her immodest clothing not bother anyone? I have not seen the movie, but the ad is enough to make me not want to see it. Also why do christians have to put an add on their website with a woman wearing a cleavage revealing dress? even after the modesty survey results said showing any cleavage is wrong. at least take into consideration that it may stumble someone else.

  • http://www.eyereachproductions.com/ideac EyeReach Productions

    As a Christian video producer & critic, I keep tabs on the Christian & religious film industry. There’s been quite a bit released over the last year and a half that falls into the “Christian” realm, but very little of it has been quality in both acting, script & message. Amazing Grace blows everything else I’ve seen out of the water. What a great combination of worldview, excellent acting and a script that is believable and real, yet not too preachy. Interested in being a Christian filmmaker? Then study this film closely.

  • Stephanie Amber

    This was a well made movie and I enjoyed it. I would suggest that you see it if you have not already. There was a bit of language, and the woman was dressed quite innapropriately, but other than that, it was a excellent movie! :-)

  • Anna

    Caleb, you actually bring up a very good point. She was likely costumed that way for historical accuracy. Now, there is a limit to how far one should go with historical accuracy–I would not approve of depicting the debauchery of the Victorian age–but at some point you must draw the line. Her neckline is not a major problem (from my perspective) because she is otherwise quite covered. At that period, for ladies, showing the ankles was considered inappropriate, and riding a horse astride outright scandalous. Their standards of modesty were a great deal higher in many areas than ours are, making it a little easier, from my persepctive at least, to deal with the problems there still are.
    One other thing I would point out: you wrote, “the modesty survey results said showing any cleavage is wrong.” Please understand that the Modesty Survey is not a list of absolutes. The majority may say one thing, but other people disagree. There is naturally variation in what bothers different guys. Also, by definition a survey does not cover everyone in a group, only those who are aware of the survey and choose to respond. I’m not disputing the consensus, but please don’t take the survey as strict rules.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Anna: You are right, of course, about the Modesty Survey not being a list of absolutes. However, I would balance your comment by noting that a very large majority of guys said that any cleavage was immodest… And Barbara Spooner shows much more than ‘any’.

    Brett and I personally found the merits and benefits of the film to greatly overshadow that one problem. However, it was still a distraction (and severe annoyance) for both us. Therefore, while I still highly recommend the movie, I would not dismiss Caleb’s concern.

  • Anna

    My apologies; I tend to forget I’m an anomaly. I yield to everyone else’s knowledge on the subject.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    No need to apologize, Anna! For all I know, Caleb and I could be the anomalies. :-P

  • Matthew

    Alex–

    I hope your writing retreat is going well.

    I think when you compare Wilberforce and slavery in the American South with modern day slavery, the truth and accuracy of slavery in the former period is foundationally relevant, not peripheral, as it appears you want to make it. So too is the important distinction between the slave-trade and the actual practice of domestic slave-owning.

    Oof the hardest things to do for this generation is to develop an attention span longer than a sound byte, and it sure seems you’re tending to want to focus on your sound byte here and ignore an uncomfortable but important truth relevant to the topic. Maybe not, but it seems that way to me.

    Now that the horse is thoroughly dead, I will dismount! Blessings in all your endeavors.

    M.A.B.

  • Phoebe

    Yesterday I got to see this movie, after thinking it was not going to come to my town! I’m so grateful it did come and I could see it on the big screen. I was blown over by the excellent filming and acting, but especially the story itself.

    I would like to point out something that the movie doesn’t explain: Wilberforce was not at first working to end slavery, but working to end the Slave Trade, as portrayed by the movie. He focused first on ending the Trade, then after his God-given success in that, he worked until the end of his life on abolishing Slavery itself, while also supporting other Christian stances on other issues. This explains why the movie doesn’t portray freed slaves: there weren’t any at that point. Nevertheless, it was an enormous first step to abolish the barbaric Trade.

    While I agree that Barbara’s dress is distracting, nevertheless I was delighted by the beautiful behavior she exemplified. She supported and encouraged Wilberforce while yet being ladylike. The movie makers didn’t try to make her some kind of feminist co-abolitionist, praise the Lord! Her role as a wise and supportive wife is inspiring.

  • someone

    I thought I was the anomaly for asking the question above.

    Anna: not a problem…because she is otherwise quite covered. I mean no disrespect, but I don’t think that applies. For one thing, the camera was in close up much of the time. I do agree that her behavior was otherwise very much ladylike and beautiful. (That always makes the discrepancy with how one is dressed troubling.)

  • Phoebe

    It’s too bad that there is that one fly-in-the-ointment of this movie — the modesty issue. Nevertheless, I am grateful that the film is so ‘amazingly’ wonderful in so many other respects.

  • someone

    Phoebe: agreed.

  • Will Kelly

    Hey Guys!

    Just wanted to let you know I went to see Amazing Grace, and man it was GOOD. Last week my mom and I went to see it and I was BLOWN AWAY. I enjoy watching historical films that are accurate with good filmmaking, ie. Master and Commander, but this was superior to just about any movie I have ever seen. The portrayal of Wilberforce’s faith and courage in the face of adversity were amazing, and the parts with John Newton- well, let’s just say I don’t cry over movies, but i was on the verge of tears.
    I believe that as Rebelutionaries, God expects us to do things for His glory, and do them well. Filmmaking should be no exception. Just because a movie has Christian characters and themes doesn’t mean the quality of the film has to be second rate! Let’s keep working to spread the message of Christ in everything we do, and PLEASE watch this film. You won’t regret it !!!
    Your brother in Christ , Will

  • Julia

    i loved that movie, i dont remember it all that well anymore but for some reason it made me get all depressed.

  • Laura

    Hey!
    I saw the movie and reely liked it,it was reely good.
    But I agree that Barbara was VERY distracting! Others were imodest as
    well,but not as much as her. I did like her attitude though,and loved it because I have red hair too.

  • Megan Liz

    I finally saw the movie! We got it as soon as it came out. I totally loved it. It’s too bad about the immodesty (thought that only bothered me in one scene) and the sprinkling of language, but otherwise–incredible!

  • Steve Ezeude

    I cannot wait to see this movie. I have heard about this great, eloquent christian and politician but never really imagined what he went through in convincing himself that God had prepared him for this purpose. My lesson learned is that there is always a time for God to move and reveal Himself so mightily regardless of how difficult, important and how unworthy we think we are to work for God.
    This is actually a lesson for those of us at the corridors of power, authority and influence. He was not the Prime Minister but at God’s appointed time, God prepared every vessel to work through William for His purpose of librating man from man.
    The black community should be grateful to God for using William to save them from man’s inhumanity to man.

  • Laura

    Hi,

    This is off topic but, I was wondering if anyone has thoughts about the new

    Pride and Prejudice movie? And how would it rate for modesty?

  • Matt

    My family has this movie and everyone loves it! I think it is a great encouragement. I highly recomend it!

  • Scout

    Yes, the movie is amazing, but the more amazing thing about it is that Mr. Wilberforce’s great-grandson is a Catholic priest. He is involved in the pro-life movement and issued a statement recently that said Mr. Wilberforce himself would have been outraged and appaled and would have joined him in condoning abortion. If readers enjoyed this movie, rent Bella. It’s coming out on DVD in May 2008.

  • Jeff

    Regardless what ColeC says, slavery is not sin. Please go read your bibles, Philemon in particular – and please, don’t believe your modern day doofus preacher who is ashamed of this book.

    I offer this excellent sermon: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5804144539 that will help explain what I mean. There are greater/lesser/master/servant relationships – you’re in one right now – and the treatment of lessers/inferiors is quite guided in the scriptures.

    We are of one blood. There are none created that are created in less of God’s image than any other. But slavery is not sin — we use words so lightly – indentured servitude is probably the appropriate term – but that which was in the US (South AND North) probably was sin…but truth is truth – let Philemon proclaim it here…lose the phrase and the idea that “slavery is sin” – put the terms right and do some praying/research on Philemon…

  • Holly H.

    I think that you guys “Do Hard Things” just by all th research you do. Making sure that it’s correct for the most part, and get your thoughts organized and find what others thought. Good movie review! I saw it, and you said alot of the things that I got out of it and that you enjoyed it as much as I did. I like that you not only commented the story-line itself and the Actors that were able to make the movie as great as it really was. They did a good job and if they’re reading good job.

    God Bless You!

  • Elizabeth

    I love this movie. It was so insparational and they picked the best actor to play the part of William Wilburforce. I am so very sad at the way black people were treated, and I just pray that God would stop this soon.
    Thanks to all who are trying to stop modern day slavery.
    Elizabeth Shaver

  • Ian

    This movie is another example of perseverance. When you know something is right, never stop fighting until there is justice (if that’s the word I’m looking for). The acting was great and believable! William Wilberforce truly lived an amazing life

  • Lt. Death

    This is one of the greatest film i ever saw. for God created us equal and through his own image. Thanks

    “In everything you do, do it for the glory of God”

  • Lt. Death

    Can anyone help me?

    i have a question….

    Why do other Christian religions always argue at each other whilw\e we are serving only one God?…

  • Lt. Death

    i hope anyone could help me….

    Take care All….

    GOd bless you…^_^

  • Will

    Harris brothers, I ultimately enjoyed this film. I saw it when it first came out with my family. I, too, was stunned by how much it leaned towards the Christian theme. Wilberforce was indeed an honorable man, and it was fun to see how well the real guy was portrayed There were sad parts, joyous parts, dramatic parts…but it all rolled into a historical tale of Christianity and those who fought for it.

    God Bless!

    ~Will

  • http://N/A Jordan Whitmire

    This is by far one of my most beloved movies. I got a whole group of teen to go and see it form our church. I can’t tell you how many times I cried during this movie. What can I say I’m an emotional guy. But it is turely a movie that shows us to Do Hard Things. By the way has anyone here of Fireproof?

  • Grace

    I thought this movie was exceptional. My whole family enjoyed it very much, a lot of us started crying during it. The only thing we were upset about was having to wait until it came out on dvd to see it!

  • Sarah Pena

    This is one of the best movies I have ever seen! One of my younger brother’s role models is William Wilberforce and he absolutly loves this movie! But I will agree that Miss Spooner’s dress was too low. My brothers did not even notice it though, which is good.

    Another movie I would strongly recomend is “Luther”. Both the old and new versions. It is a little grafic and there are a few words but the moral of the story makes it well worth while.

    God bless!

    Sarah. :)

  • Sarah Pena

    Lt. Death,

    I would love to help you with your question, but I don’t quite understand what you meant. Could you explain it a little better please?

    God bless!

    Sarah. :)

  • emily

    I really enjoyed this movie. I loved the old fashioned plot and the story really yelled out
    “do hard things!” You have got to watch this movie!

  • Katie L.

    This is definately my favorite movie ever. the acting is great and so is the story. It is also completely correct historically. In short I love it.

    with Christ’s Love,
    Katie

  • Jordan

    Amazing Grace is the best movie I have ever seen. It is, without a doubt, my favorite movie. The acting, the plot, the message, the history….superb.

    Thanks for posting this review!

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  • Kevin F

    This movie is a perfect example of doing hard things. Though I think we are missing the great point to the story when we over analyze the immodesty (I’m not saying it’s right even though I don’t remember that scene) it’s by these things that we become unfriendly and uninviting to others. However though I’m by no means saying to become desensitized to stuff I’m just saying it doesn’t bode well to bring to light only the bad parts of the movie.

  • Caleb M C

    I don’t think that anyone was over analyzing the immodesty. However, I think it is wrong to put something that you know is wrong, in this case immodesty, before your eyes. You can protect yourself and still be friendly and inviting to others.

  • Rachel J.

    I agree with Caleb on the modesty issue. My family watched Amazing Grace and we really loved the message it had but there was a LOT of cleavage. Our family is a little more strict than some people may be but it’s hard to bring an unsaved friend with you to watch a “christian” movie with things like that in it. I’m not saying that it was horrible, my family really enjoyed it and the message was good but my brother did notice the inappropriate parts in it. We have a gaurdian(which cuts out any bad laungage) so that was alright. Again, a pretty good movie. I wouldn’t recoment it to anyone who has a hard time with looking at bad things though.
    Rachel

  • Zachariah T. Hazlett

    Lt.Death,

    1. Not all people (denominations, reliogions, sects) believe in the same God.

    2. Many people think the same God has different rules, or laws.

  • Zachariah T. Hazlett

    Hmm. I didn’t see my comment the first time, so I retyped it. At least I know I was going to say the same thing. :/

  • http://jewelsbyjulia-lauren.blogspot.com Julia

    Great review guys!

    I’m glad someone mentioned the modesty issue – Yes, that was how they dressed back then (probably, I’m no expert-) Yes, they were modest everywhere else but the neckline, but if you think about it, the movie would have been *just* as good WITHOUT an immodest dress in it, don’t you think? Did they really need to have her neckline plunge that low? No.

    Other than that I loved the movie – Went around the house singing Amazing Grace for days after I saw it. :) I’m so grateful that a movie like this with such a powerful message was made.

    Blessings!
    Julia

  • http://www.hisdaughter.bravejournal.com/ Alesia

    I saw this movie last year and it was amazing!
    I have ALWAYS been against slavery and this movie was truly inspiring to watch!
    It was disturbing to see the living conditions and hear the stories of people who didn’t make it, but it was somthing I really needed to see.
    Awsome movie!

    Blessinga
    Alesia

  • sister serving God

    I have never seen this movie (my family and i are very strict with our movie standards, I think that’s part of the reason), but I have one thing that I really don’t understand. Many ppl on this post have said that there was 3 or 4 curse words in Amazing Grace. If this movie glorifies God, why are there curse words in it? I once heard an illustration on an internet video (not sure where it’s from…I saw it in my youth group a few years ago). The man on-camera asked random people in Hollywood, “Would you watch a movie if it used your mother’s name as a curse word?”. After the person answered, he asked, “Would you watch a movie that used your God’s name as a curse word?” That really made me think! Why doesn’t blasphemy and cursing offend us anymore?? I really don’t understand this! Could you help me understand, Alex or Brett??

  • Caleb M C

    Yes, Julia, for the most part that was how they dressed back then, but I’m sure there were those who did not wear plunging necklines because they were immodest. In a hundred years people could look back and think of how immodest people were in 2009, but they may not realize that not everyone dressed like that.

  • giada

    Sister serving God: You have asked the question why do we watch a movie that takes God’s name in vain. First, though there are a few sware words in the movie I don’t ever recall God’s name being used in vain, though I could easily be mistaken. Second with todays modern technology their are many options out their that will allow you to cut out the sware words in the movie.

    Now to get to my point, I to find it sad that our God’s name is being used in vain and that we have become… somewhat immune to it. I don’t think that is right and I believe we should try to make more of an effort to be disgusted and offended when someone uses God’s in vain.
    But now let me ask you a question. Would you walk into a grocery store that played rock music because you couldn’t get groceries anywhere else? Would you go and witness to people who sware and curse so that they wouldn’t burn in hell?
    I think that yes we should be offended by all the things that don’t bring honor and glory to God, but we also need to stop and realize that we live in an imperfect sin filled world that will never be put to right until the return of our Lord. We are going to hear profane words and see things that sicken us. The only way not to is to lock all the doors and never step outside, and we all know that is not an option. We must remember to keep our eyes on Christ and His Glory.
    The movie Amazing Grace is a great movie with a wonderful theme. I praise you and your parents for your standards, too few people let little things slide and don’t think anything of it. If it convicts you so much that you can’t watch the movie I say more power to you.

  • SisterservingGod

    Giada,
    Thank you for explaining that to me. It makes more sense now that I’ve heard your way of thinking. However, i have to disagree about something. Yes, we do walk into stores that play rock music, and yes, we do witness to people who use curse words. But that’s something we can’t help. We have no choice to go to the grocery store, and God has commanded us to witness. Those people need Jesus, and many people without Jesus don’t know any better than to use those words. There is no choice for us in those scenarios. We are to be “In the world, but not of the world.” But a movie is a choice. When we watch movies with curse words and bad things in them, we are choosing to subject ourselves to that and allow it to go into our minds. We are choosing to listen to, or to watch (whatever the case may be) something that our God is displeased with, something that should offend us. We are to hate the things that He hates and love the things that He loves. That is why i don’t think i would watch this movie. Not all movies are bad, and i’m not saying this one is inherently evil. But i personally wouldn’t watch it. But I am glad it has a good theme, and if God hasn’t convicted you about it, keep watching it :-) .

  • Cody H.

    That’s a good movie! I saw it
    a while ago and it made me
    feel very solemn. Good job on the whole!

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  • Lani

    I saw this movie two years ago with my class and it just about knocked me off my feet. the plot was incredible, the story was amazing, and the movie its self was breath taking!! I recommend this movie to anyone who wants a story about faith, independence, and following your heart.
    CAUTION: NOT A MOVIE FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO GET EMOTIONAL EASILY. :)
    Love your sister in Christ always, Lani

  • Lani

    Hi!! Me again. Hey, I was wondering what you people think about The Passion of The Christ?
    Off topic I know but I just wanted to see what you though. I heard that is was really graphic, but like I said just wondering what you guys thought.
    Out but not over, Lani!!

  • Taylor

    Lt. Death,

    I can understand you question because I have asked myself the same thing before. I have witnessed this first hand.

    1. I think that the main thing is that we sometimes slip back into our old sin nature. We lose sight of our purpose, to praise and glorify God in EVERYTHING that we do.

    2. Many people, though they believe that Jesus died for our sins, get so mixed up in the facts of the Bible…such as long hair, head coverings,…(the list goes on)…that they forget the Writer. They forget that the people they are arguing with are their brothers and sisters in Christ. Their family who they are going to spend Eternity with! I have personally come to the conclusion that if someone knows Christ as their Savior then I am to treat them as I would my biological family. That I should love them and encourage them here because they truly are my family and I will HAVE to spend years without number in Heaven with them! lol

    Daughter of the King of Kings,
    Taylor

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  • Eavan

    I’ve always loved this movie, great review! this movie inspired me to write a speech about slavery

  • Alana

    I just saw this movie a couple days ago and I loved it!!!!
    It is so sad that that happened to anyone… I’m glad it got stopped.
    I did notice (and it bothered me) that Barbara Spooner’s dress was kinda low.
    God bless,
    Alana :)

  • Maid-in-Waiting

    Hello all!
    Though our movie standerds are high, my family and I love this one!
    Actually, the first time I ever went to the movies was to see this film – and I felt it was totally worth it. :) There are two quotes from this film that stuck with me and I particularly enjoy:
    1) “Though my memory is fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great savior.” (- John Newton to William Wilberforce) AMEN!
    And a great rebelutionary quote: 2) “We are too young to know certain things are impossible – so we do them anyways!” (-William Pitt to Wilberforce)
    Alex and Brett: thank you both for the brilliant example you have been of shining the Light of the Son to our dark world. Never forget that to the one who overcomes Christ will give a crown of Life. Continue to run the Race and Keep the Faith!
    Praise the Lord for His truly Amazing Grace!!

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  • Genesis

    This literally my #1 favourite movie, I would not recommend it for younger children though on account of the language. It is a British movie so don’t be surprised, the language isn’t too bad, but you wouldn’t want your little brother repeating it. Also I’d have to agree with Caleb M. On account of her dress, even I, a girl, feel uncomfortable seeing Barbara Spooner show that much cleavage. Those are the only two problems I have with this movie. I am definitely not telling you not to see it, I am saying quite the opposite, but guard your tongues and eyes. Like I said before this is my #1 favourite movie. Go see it. Be inspired. Do hard things.

    • Annalysa

      I love the movie too, but because of those 2 issues, I haven’t watched it over and over like I do with other movies…

  • Trent Blake

    Amazing Grace – one of the most awesome movies – ever.

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