Photo submitted Albert Finney as John Newton who wrote the unforgettable song Amazing Grace.

Photo submitted Albert Finney as John Newton who wrote the unforgettable song Amazing Grace.

Film club screens Amazing Grace Tuesday

The film Amazing Grace will open the Williams Lake Film Club season next week.

Amazing Grace will open the Williams Lake Film Club season next week.

The film was premiered at the closing gala of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006.

The film never made it very big, but it sure should have.

It is based on the true story of the origin of one of our most beloved songs, namely Amazing Grace, and on the life of anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce.

He was elected to the House of Commons in London in 1782 at the age of 21.  Wilberforce became friends with the youngest prime minister ever, William Pitt, who was only 24 when he was elected, and with John Newton, a former slave ship captain.

It is John Newton who wrote the song and who is said to live in the company of 20,000 ghosts … slaves. Each of these three men have their own struggles, in politics, religion, and their personal lives.

Although this all happened nearly 300 years ago it is just as valuable a lesson for us today. These men and women fought for what they believed in, and in the end they won. Slavery in the British Empire was abolished. It took Wilberforce more than 20 years to abolish the slave trade but he pressed on and fought over and over again for freedom for people who at the time did not have a voice.

Amazing Grace will give you plenty to think about and plenty to talk about. On top of that it is a beautifully made film, your quintessential historical biopic, stately, noble, and with plenty of electrifying performances.

Some of the actors are Ioan Gruffudd (Wilberforce), Benedict Cumberbatch (William Pitt), and Albert Finney (John Newton).

The film will be shown at the Gibraltar Room Tuesday, Sept. 7 starting at 7 p.m. Back doors open at 6:30 p.m.


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