27 February 2007

Amazing Grace

We don't always see the best movies, but lately I've discovered (or rediscovered) a taste for "message" movies.

I want to be inspired.

Before the new year, we saw The Departed and acknowledged that it was excellent, though kind of a bummer. After the new year, for Victor's birthday, we saw three in a row: Blood Diamond, The Pursuit of Happyness, and The Good Shepherd.

Blood Diamond
was our favorite; The Pursuit of Happyness was fine, and The Good Shepherd made us feel crappy, in spite of being absorbed throughout.

Blood Diamond was a movie with a hero, and I guess that's what I've been craving lately--I'm tired of stories that suggest there's nothing to be done.

So Amazing Grace fits the bill. Definitely a movie with a hero: William Wilberforce, the British legislator who pushed and pushed and pushed for the abolition of the slave trade. It starts off a bit slow, but does a good job of shedding light on a part of history most Americans know nothing about (we're notoriously undereducated about the history of other countries). Even if it's not a perfect work of art, it succeeds in making you want to learn more about the subject, which is a pretty noble achievement.

So I'm adding Adam Hochshild's Bury the Chains to my reading list; I'll get to it one of these days...