The next cinema night in the Public Hall is on Friday 4th May, starting at 7.30pm. It features Amazing Grace, the recent release about the campaign against the slave trade in 18th century Britain, led by the famous abolitionist William Wilberforce. The title is a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace" and the film also recounts John Newton's writing of the hymn.
The film stars Ioan Gruffudd as William Wilberforce; Albert Finney as John Newton; Rufus Sewell as Thomas Clarkson; Youssou N'Dour as Olaudah Equiano; Benedict Cumberbatch as Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, and Romola Garai as Barbara Spooner, the woman William Wilberforce married. Richard Bailey and Michael Gambon (as Lord Charles Fox) also star.
The film was released on February 23, 2007 coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the date the British parliament voted to ban the slave trade.
Amazing Grace has provoked some criticism for despite being a film about the slave trade, it features few black characters – even the single reference to slave rebellions, in Haiti, credits Wilberforce with inspiring these. Director Michael Apted has said he did not set out to make another film such as Roots, but to explore the parliamentary legislative battle from the point of view of Wilberforce and the other anti-slavery campaigners in Britain.
The last feature film, Miss Potter, was a sell-out. Please note Amazing Grace is a Friday evening performance.
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