In the 18th century millions of men, women and children were taken from their homes in Africa and sold into slavery. Few survived the slave ships, and even fewer lived through their slave labors. Some people thought the slave trade was wrong, but to find someone who had the courage to stand-up to make a stop was hard. “Amazing Grace”, is a movie based on a true story. Written by Steven Knight and directed by Michael Apted, it is about William Wilberforce and his quest to abolish the slave trade in the United Kingdom, and his battle against the British parliament of the 18th century.
The film narrates William Wilberforce’s journey through time with many flashbacks. William, the son of a rich merchant, studied at Cambridge; this is where he met his close friend and future priminister, William Pitt. Pitt encourages Wilberforce to outlaw the slavetrade and fight against parliament. With his support and advice on how to conquer the government, they get over 3,000 signatures wanting to abolish the slave trade. Without his connections it would have taken Wilberforce much longer to achieve these goals and to see progress. Wilberforce committed many years, so many that he neglects his health, and becomes very ill.
Wilberforce then meets Barbara Spooner, who pushes him to keep on going and fight for what he believes and gets him back on his feet. “Amazing Grace” is a portrait of faith and persistence. These themes are very evident as Wilberforce’s devotion to abolish the slave trade is number one priority- even over his own health. Wilberforce and Pitt also must have faith and believe that they will win the battle. This also leads into another theme, fighting for what you believe, and the theme of racism The theme that occurs continuously and ties all the above themes together is monstrosity.
This theme is also shown throughout the novels of To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), when racist acts are made in To Kill A Mockingbird, and the real monster is revealed today’s society in Frankenstein. Throughout the movie, William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) shows the characteristics of a hero, and people around the world look up at him for his effort. Since the beginning of the movie, William Wilberforce shows signs of sympathy and care. When passing by a suffering horse, he stops and makes sure the abusing stops.
Small details like this already give the viewer an instant idea of what sort character he is. As well as the amazing in-role acting the sound and lighting are the finishing touch. The lighting increases many aspects of the movie. When Wilberforce had flashbacks and was thinking of the slavery and the slave ships, the lighting became darker and the music also adjusted. To the viewer it isn’t that obvious until you specifically look for lighting and other technical edits. But without these things the movie the impact the movie gives wouldn’t be as great.
As well as lighting, the camera angles where also very specific. There would always be close up shots when difference of facial expressions were shown, this emphases more emotion in the movie and also attracting the viewer. Amazing Grace, is a extremely intense and an instructive movie, as well as interesting and exciting. The viewers really feel pulled into the story and really get motivated to stand up for what they believe. William Wilberforce really was a role model sending out positive messages and leaving the audience with a winning smile on their face.
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