Art courtesy of Josephine Wall
Yesterday our family went to see a new film, "Amazing Grace" at the Maui Mall cinema complex. None of us knew anything about this film. Amazing Grace has long been one of my favorite hymns as well a favorite of my partner's deceased Mother. I guess you could say it was a divine blessing that we were rewarded with such a great film because we chose this film based on our tight time schedule and the name.
My partner has this 'thing'--he doesn't like to read a review or know anything about a movie going into one. I, on the other hand, like to know what I'm getting into. He's more the risk taker, and I'm more the researcher. However, because of the aforementioned 'timing' thing, I hadn't checked out any reviews on the movie, so I went in blind as a bat like him. My daughter had only a certain amount of time to view a movie with us before heading off to another event, so we decided to go for it.
And what a tremendous movie it was! We all loved it! Here's the story how the hymn Amazing Grace was created. This powerful hymn was written by John Newton (played by the great actor Albert Finney) after a religious conversion. Newton had been a former slave ship captain, and he had witnessed first hand the barbaric atrocity of the slave trade which was happening in the 1800's and in which England and France participated. William Wilberforce (Ioann Gruffudd) heard John speak, and he was so moved by this sermon that for the next twenty years of his life, he lobbied the English Parliament to end England's participation in the slave trade.
Although Wilberforce was born into the life of privilege and was the son of a wealthy merchant family, he had a conscience and a strong humanitarian streak. (I reflect upon John Robbins, the Baskin-Robbins heir, of our time who has also become an activist and advocate for change.) Wilberforce wished to spend his life in the ministry, but forces, friends, destiny, and the need for a being with charisma and stamina pushed him to become the one to lead and embody the impassioned idealist advocate.
Directed by Michael Apted, this period film speaks about powerful principled political action and demonstrates how a small group can change the course of history. This film renewed my hope. Heaven knows, we all need hope and faith now at this critical juncture, and we need films like this to remind us of our conscience. We need to ignite our remembrance that we stand on the shoulders of brave men and women who tirelessly worked and risked so that others (including animals!) wouldn't be mistreated or harmed. I am invigorated with the ending of the film and reminded that even though the "the wheels of justice grind slow, they grind exceeding fine."
I highly recommend this film!