In the 18th century, the slave trade was one of the most horrendous and lucrative industries in the world. To oppose this trade was like trying to stand up against Goliath without a sling. William Wilberforce however found the courage and strength in God to lead the movement that would eventually find victory against the hulking giant. I was hesitant to watch this film at first, for some reason it did not look like something that I would find appealing. What I discovered is one of the best Christian films that has ever been produced.
Amazing Grace is the dramatic account of much of Wilberforce’s life. It is based on a remarkable true story though a number of details and events have been altered. The film weaves through politics, personal life, faith, love, illness, and more. John Newton, who penned the song Amazing Grace is portrayed as William’s mentor and confidant.
From a technical standpoint, this film is a masterpiece. The casting, production, and dialog are spot on. This movie runs smoothly, it feels good, and there are no awkward instances of stiff dialog. The pace is good and the elements of faith portrayed in the film are strong, respectable, and realistic. Everything feels natural and authentic. The content is a bit course at times, but the film itself is refined and graceful. And the story grows in depth and power as the movie progresses.
Viewers should take caution as the film contains very strong and sensitive subject matter which may be disturbing, especially to younger viewers. The slave trade was among the most terrible gut wrenching crafts, so even the most tasteful of portrayals are still somewhat intense. There is also some mild profanity used throughout.
I don’t typically give movies such a strong endorsement, but this is one of the films that really propelled me into the world of Christian films. After watching Amazing Grace I caught a glimpse of what Christian movies should and could be. God worked in this man’s life to set things in motion for the abolishment of one of the greatest evils of his age. That story was taken and realistically portrayed on screen, simple as that.
The subject matter is weighty but it is inspiring. Many of the main plot points are based on what really happened or are exactly what really happened. It is hard to walk away from this film with a dry eye when you think about how great of an impact this man had on history. The film is moving, touching, insightful, and provides a window into history, as well as gives glory to God.
Amazing Grace is an Amazing Movie
If you have not seen this movie you need to, both for yourself and to cast your “consumer vote” for films in this vein and style. This movie ranks in my top 5 best made Christian films of all time.
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