Amazing Grace: The Movie
It was a very interesting film. I found it thought provoking, inspiring and insightful to how courageous faith and politics can be truly combined to make a real impact on an issue in society.
A few things grabbed me from the film.
Friendship of William Pitt and William Wilberforce
I've recently read an in-depth biography of Pitt's life by William Hague MP. The book refers to Pitt's friendship with Wilberforce which comes out quite strongly in the film. One conversation they had in the film really struck me. Pitt became Prime Minister at 24 (still the youngest ever PM in UK history). He said to Wilberforce that he believed that they could dream and believe for impossible things in their lifetime because they were young enough to believe that they could actually happen. Wilberforce made the 'impossible' happen with his efforts and passion towards the Abolition of Slavery in 1807.
Faith and Politics
When Wilberforce 'found God' (to use the film's terminology). He went through a bit of turmoil about whether he should follow his new found faith with God through the church or continue in the field of Politics. Pitt said to him: 'Do you want to use your voice for Praising God, or do you want to use it to change the world?' Wilberforce was encouraged by his peers that actually his faith in God and his heart for justice in Politics could be combined. They were not two separate parts of his life. He was able to show that he could use his voice for Praising God and change the world, all at the same time.
Wilberforce goes to see John Newton (writer of the Hymn 'Amazing Grace') at one point in the film and asks his advice on whether he should pursue Politics still now he had found God. Newton tells him to 'be in the world and not of the world'. He tells him to be involved to make a change, but to do it from a point and voice of prophetic faith, not political wrangling and persuasion.
Wilberforce battled with rejection, ridicule and ill health to see the Abolition of Slavery Act come into being. He was persistant and never gave up. His heart for the poor and justice was one that drove him in his political life, and one that brought him to a point of trusting in Almighty God.
I'd highly recommed going to see the film. It's not a glitzy hollywood blockbuster, but it is a film that tells a powerful story of the power of God's 'Amazing Grace'. When the glamour and lights of other films have faded, the lasting change of the story of this film is felt in millions of lives across the world.
If you've been to see the film, I'd be interested in your thoughts and comments.