Sunday, February 25, 2007
On Friday night I accepted an invite from a friend to join him, his wife and others to see the new movie, Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce and his efforts to end the practice of the slave trade in the British empire. Alas, by the time we got to the theater, the tickets had all sold for that performance. We checked other theaters but the time and location did not allow for us to see the show immediately. We returned home debating whether to go to the later showing. When my daughter and her boyfriend came over and agreed to join us for the 9;30 pm show, we decided to go to see the movie.
It was definitely worth it.
I am not one for going to movies when they first come out. If I see a film in a theater, it is generally at the $2 cinemas. But I was very impressed with Amazing Grace and can heartily recommend it to all.
First off the story is compelling and even though most know that the slave trade was banned sometime in the 1800s, not many know how it was banned and in what way. The story of a man of principles and perseverance is one that needs telling, especially in our present world where the concept of fighting evil is to be avoided at all costs.
The director does an excellent job of moving us back and forth in time as we come to know the protagonist and his work. We view his struggles and those in his life who give him courage and counsel. There is a refreshing acknowledgement of the role God plays in William's life and how his faith in Christ is what has him to continue when all would have quit.
The acting is wonderful and the actor playing William captures the desires and frustrations of a political activist and a man seeking to serve God in this world. Albert Finney gives a tremendous performance as John Newton, the former captain of the slave ship who lives with the 20,000 ghosts and the chains that bound them in the bellies of those ships he sailed from Africa to the West Indies. The settings take you back to an England that has just finished the American Revolution and is fearful of what may taker place in France. The mood set by the music and the lighting is excellent.
The romantic interlude is done very well. The relationship between them is fresh and though-provoking. there is also humor which is very much needed to counterbalance the serious topic in the film.
This is a movie to take your older children (10 and up) to see and then discuss. The parallels to the pro-life movement and the struggle to end abortion are compelling. But the recurring theme in the film is the effect that one man can have when he puts his life in the service of the Lord. That one human being can make a difference, reminds us today that we cannot ever give up that noble cause to restore legal protection to the unborn, that we have a duty to protect the disabled, the dependent and the elderly, and that we can never underestimate the call that everyone of us has to protect human life.
You can make a difference. you can be a catalyst for change. Your involvement in the cause can save lives. What you do will have an effect that will last for eternity.
Take a chance. Get involved.
And don't forget the AZRTL Gala this Saturday March 3, 2007 at the Chaparral Suites in Scottsdale. Tickets are still on sale. Call 602-285-0063 or go to azrtl.org to register online.