Saturday, March 17, 2007

Amazing Grace - Inspiring Political Activism?

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a preview of Amazing Grace, the film about the political struggle by William Wilberforce to abolish slavery. I live in Hull the home 200 years ago of William Wilberforce MP, so this is of special significance here and we were honoured with the presence of actor Ioan Gruffudd who plays Wilberforce, Director Michael Apted and screenwriter Steven Knight.

Although this is a film about Wilberforce's particular struggle 200 years ago, I found it had strong connections with modern times because it is more a film about the struggle against powerful, political and commercial self interests and greed. The wealth of the British empire had been build on slavery and following the abolition of slavery, the plantations in the West Indies failed to produce the huge profits of the past.

As an activist I came away very inspired. Although there were some minor historical inaccuracies, the story remained fairly true to fact and it showed that with persistence we can stop the extreme excesses of the the rich and powerful, but as is increasingly being seen today, unless we do something they will continue to chase profits with total disregard for human life - which is why I want to encourage you to view this short trailer for The Corporation - a documentary that highlights why we need to remember the legacy of Wilberforce - not the abolition of slavery - but the passion to keep on fighting against the unbridled greed that has driven powerful men throughout history, and today is embodied in The Corporation.

You might also like this short interview with Director Mark Achbar

"Just because you can't fix everything doesn't mean you shouldn't do anything" - Mark Achbar

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