• Film ID:
  • 14391
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=113 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Britain.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • English.

Inside this conventionally structured biopic resides an extraordinary story of an extraordinary man. William Wilberforce was the parliamentary spokesman for a group of radicalised young Evangelists (and Quakers), who despised the money politics and corruption of late 18th Century UK politics and who fought for many reformist policies, the most notable of which was the one this film annotates, the abolition of slavery, a process that took years of political skulduggery and the slow passage of incremental laws. The parallel with today's (extra-parliamentary) political campaigners is hinted at, Wilberforce as a singer with a drug problem! and a consumer campaign for 'slave-free sugar', and of course there is the song in the title courtesy of William's mentor the repentant ex-slaver and committed abolitionist John Newton. A wonderful, excellently scripted story of an era, sometimes witty, historically accurate and only very rarely melodramatic. NB anyone interested in the subject might be recommended to see movie number 14404, Simon Schama's Rough Crossing, a docupic of Thomas Clarkson's younger brother, John, and the founding of Freetown, Sirrea Leone.

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