Sunday, March 25, 2007

Amazing Grace

Went to see the film Amazing Grace last night. It had followed a meeting of the Anglican District of Virginia where we met the new bishop for the ADV, the Rt. Rev. David Benna, retired Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and now a BIshop in CANA. It was a great afternoon of sharing and catching up and touching base with everyone.

So followed up that meeting with my first viewing of the film, Amazing Grace. It was extraordinary. I had heard that the filmmakers had downplayed Wilberforce's strong evangelical and orthodox faith - so was surprised to see how much was still in. What a change from the usual wink and nod sarcasm and satire of evangelicals in film. This was completely different - this was a committed Christian, who believed in having a personal relationship with the Lord and who translated that faith into politics. It was also inspiring - there is a great moment when Wilberforce brings up his bill to abolish the slavetrade yet again and the opposing forces call for "study" - perhaps so that they can engage in some listening process until they wear Wilberforce down. Some thing just don't change.

It's an extraordinary film. You can read more about it here.

It's also a great family film - and I was also surprised to see that the showing I went to was as good as sold out. The word is out. Drop what you're doing, change your plans, and go see it. Albert Finney as John Newton alone is worth the price of a ticket. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see.

Here's a preview:

Here's Richard Kew's review here.

"I know only two things, that I am a great sinner and Christ is a great savior."


Anonymous said...

We went to see it opening night and agree with you -- fantastic film.

We had several ideas that we went away pondering.

What is our "slavery" today in America that we should be fighting?

Don't loose heart when it isn't resolved immediately!

And - William Pitt so encouraged Willberforce to get into/stay in the frey and gets so little of the credit for slavery finally ending. Who in today's society is the Willberforce - and, perhaps just as important - who is Pitt? Perhaps we all can't be Willberforce, but can't we at least be Pitt's voice of encouragement to the Willberforces around us?

Anam Cara

Kevin said...

[*Big Sigh*]

Now BB, you'd think after I bombarded your email with various reviews or presentations, you just might get the hint that it was a good movie ...

It is interesting that John Newton died in Dec. of 1807. Another take away for me was the twenty years of failure, the toll it took on Wilberforce's body. So often we want the easy road or get frustrated when things don't work out as we plan ... are we willing to pay the price?

Ian Matthews said...

It was an incredible movie. I saw it on Sunday night with my wife (the actual 200th anniversary of the 1807 Act) and it really helped to cement some things for me. I did rant about stuff this morning in my blog but it is going to be more than ranting to change the world (again).

Anonymous said...

"Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margret Mead

While I disagree with Ms. Mead's writings and life style choices, she has tapped into a truth demonstrated by the Clapham sect and Louie Crew, Susan Russell, Elizabeth Kaeton, et al, have adopted as their modi operandi.