Thursday, March 29, 2007

Amazing Grace - The Movie

Annie and I went to the cinema last night to watch the recently released film Amazing Grace

It is the story of William Wilberforce and his supporters fight to abolish the slave trade which was finally achieved in 1807 through an Act of Parliament.

I mentioned in an earlier Blog posting that the current Archbishop of Canterbury has described William Wilberforce as the most important Briton of the last 1000 years.

The film is wonderful.

The focus, determination and single-mindedness of Wilberforce and his followers to a great cause is inspirational and portrayed brilliantly by many talented actors.

There is also an important message in this film for any leader or manager. Wilberforce started off in a minority of 1 against over 300 MP’s who did not want to see the slave trade abolished for commercial reasons. Over the next 25 years he recruited allies among MP’s on both sides of the house.

He was assisted quietly by his close personal friend William Pitt who was Prime Minister. Pitt could not be seen to explicitly support the abolition for other political reasons.

Wilberforce was constantly defeated and even ridiculed in debates in the House of Commons but refused to lose the will to carry on and eventually achieved his dream in 1807.

Please go and watch this film – it give me a great understanding of how – inhumane our ancestors were (very recently) even though in fairness to them, they knew no better.

Wilberforce’s story also reminds me we should never give up. As I have said many times on my Blog – I don’t believe in overnight success.

The superb Amazing Grace website (click here) gives you the opportunity to see some clips from the film and I would recommend the video clip entitled The Story of Amazing Grace – it is very moving.

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