Saturday, February 24, 2007

Amazing Grace Movie

I went and saw the movie Amazing Grace this afternoon with my kids (as we walked up to the box office, my pastor and his family were there as well, so we all saw it together. But I digress.) Wilberforce has always been one of my heroes, not just because of his work to abolish the slave trade; but because he understood, as the movie makes so clear, that it is possible to serve God and change the world at the same time.

The movie was wonderful in every way. It started slow, as they attempt to establish the story. But soon I was engrossed in the telling of a story that I already knew. There have been a significant number of movies in the last couple of years that attempt to tell a story with which I was already familiar; and I have been disappointed in nearly all of them. The Lord of the Rings movies were the lone exception until today. The movie gave me an appreciation for the time Wilberforce devoted to his cause, and for the frustrations of his slow progress. The depth of the anguish suffered by John Newton (composer of the hymn Amazing Grace) is brought into stark reality in the movie. The acting is wonderful, the cinematography beautiful, and the storytelling magnificent. No matter what you believe about Christianity, I recommend this movie as the telling of the story of a true hero of the modern western world.

If you have children, know that there is a scene of animal cruelty at the beginning of the movie, and several tellings of the true fate of slaves that might be unnerving for smaller children. There are also a handful of profanities, all mild, except for 2 uses of the N word. Both are in context; but after all these years of avoiding the term in my own life, it was rather shocking to hear. Just caught me off guard, that is all.

The best line of the movie, for me as a believer, comes from the mouth of John Newton, when he says "This I know. I am a great sinner; and Christ is a great saviour." The line is historical, the truth is timeless.

Go see the movie. Now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if anyone will acknowledge the fact that the majority of the fight and struggle of abolishing slave trading was done by white anglo-saxon protestants; the group who gets such "bad press" on a regular basis.