Amazing Grace (2006 film)

Amazing Grace (2006 Film)

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Amazing Grace (2006 film)

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Amazing Grace is a 2006 film directed by Michael Apted about the campaign against slave trade in the United Kingdom, led by William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace". The film also recounts the experiences of John Newton as a crewman on a slave ship and subsequent religious conversion, which inspired his writing of the poem later used in the hymn. Newton is portrayed as a major influence on Wilberforce and the abolition movement.

The film premiered at four film festivals: on September 16, 2006 at the Toronto Film Festival; on October 19, 2006 at the Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, Indiana, where director Michael Apted participated in a question and answer session; on January 31, 2007 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival; and on February 10, 2007 at the European Film Market. Amazing Grace opened in wide release on February 23, 2007, which coincided with the 200th anniversary of the date the British parliament voted to ban the slave trade.


The film begins in 1797 with William Wilberforce severely ill and taking a holiday in Bath, Somerset, with his cousin, Henry Thornton. It is here that William is introduced to his future wife, Barbara Spooner. Although he at first resists, she convinces him to tell her about his life.

The story flashes back 15 years to 1782, and William...
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