Amazing Grace

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Today's Vent at Hot Air is about the movie Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce's decades-long efforts to ban the slave trade in the British Empire.

I saw it a couple of weeks ago, and I enthusiastically encourage you to see it. One of the things I love about the movie is that it gets the politics right. Instead of the usual Hollywood treatment that sets up and neatly resolves a conflict with a quick victory for the good guys, you see Wilberforce's years of failed attempts to pass his bill. You see the power of public pressure and the limits of that power. You see the influence of financial interests, both direct and indirect. You see politicians justify a brutal and inhumane policy on the grounds that it's good for business.

The depiction of Pitt the Younger is particularly commendable. He was a friend of Wilberforce and an ally of the cause, but he had to be strategic about how openly he would support the cause, because of his responsibilities as Prime Minister. It's to the credit of the filmmakers that he wasn't depicted as a contemptible sellout.

Politicians who need a shot of political courage should see this film. Christians who feel a pull toward politics but wonder if one can truly serve God in that realm should see this film.

(I was amused by the resemblance between Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Pitt the Younger, and James Daughton, who played smarmy Omega House president Greg Marmalard in Animal House. Anyone else notice that?)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 29, 2007 12:08 PM.

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