Amazing Grace: The Movie

10 01 2008

Written by enn@j (founding member of Agora@Penang) originally posted here

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Behind the song you love
is a story you will never forget

200px-amazinggraceposter.jpg
From Wikipedia : Amazing Grace is a 2006 film directed by Michael Apted about the campaign against the slave trade in 18th century Britain, led by famous abolitionist 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” and the film also recounts John Newton’s writing of the hymn.Thanks to Jacksaid and JR for introducing this movie to me. My first post of the new year and what better than to start it off with a great movie . Amazing Grace is more than just a great movie, it is soul touching and thoughts provoking, to the point that it pierced right through your bones if you would only listen intensely to some of the lines spoken.

God made all man equal yet before the slave trade was abolished, some man were not more than just mere trading goods, worthless and lifeless, bound by chains and commands. They have no purpose for living, no future that awaits them, not even the basic choice of freedom in any sorts. I would rather die than to imagine myself living in such conditions. Our freedom today was indeed bought with a price, a price we did not pay for ourselves but a group of individuals who dedicated almost their entire lifetime fighting for what they believed in, determined to finish what they started even when the road ahead seem unappealing to their sides and brought forth hope for a better world.

Has the world become better today? In many ways, I believe it’s a yes – economically, socially, medically, politically (hmmm…). But just like most medication, there is always a side effect. So are we truly living in a better world?

I can’t help but think of the ‘slaves’ we have put ourselves in by choice in this modern world of materialism. We are indeed, at times, slaves, by our own choice. Chains of material wealth, compromising values and most of all, the timidity to think for ourselves. Being in the sales line, in one of the most demanding multinationals around, I have personally felt such chains and it gets harder when you try be be who you are, especially when values do not meet. One will be branded as a rebel when one speak up or try to be different. In my case, I do not even think I was trying, I was just being me.

The worst tragedy that can happen to anyone, is to not exercise their ability to think, to act and ultimately to make a difference in the capacity that they could. What more if one is a Christian, convicted by the Holy Spirit and God Himself who will give us strength to live up to who He has called us to be.

Quote from the movie:

When people speak of great men, they think of men like Napoleon – men of violence. Rarely do they think of peaceful men. But contrast the reception they will receive when they return home from their battles. Napoleon will arrive in pomp and in power, a man who’s achieved the very summit of earthly ambition. And yet his dreams will be haunted by the oppressions of war. William Wilberforce, however, will return to his family, lay his head on his pillow and remember: the slave trade is no more – Lord Charles Fox

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