Inaccuracies In Amazing Grace

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The film Amazing Grace, a period drama about the abolition of the English slave trade, based upon Adam Hochschild’s book Bury The Chains, is a compelling period drama, yet is riddled with historical inaccuracies and creative licenses. The most glaring of inaccuracies are, the complete lack of references to the actual slaves themselves, the general factual creative liberties, and the lionization of William Wilberforce as the sole crusading hero of the anti-slavery movement. The African Slave Trade, in particular, the Middle Passage, was one of the cruelest actions humanity has ever perpetrated on another. The ferrying away from their homes of 12.5 million people, of whom 10.7 million survived was, by all standards, a crime against humanity. …show more content…

There is a certain degree of liberty that may be taken with a character’s life in a biopic, but the portrayal goes beyond conventional standards. Wilberforce is portrayed as using laudanum for his Colitis, and it definitely shows some of the opioid-induced dreams he had, it fails to really show the depth of his addiction to the medicine, which became more of an addiction than a medicine for his disease. The opium problem is the sole flaw with which Wilberforce is portrayed. The movie centers around Wilberforce’s attempts to abolish the slave trade, yet enlarges his role so much as to blot out many of his compatriots. Thomas Clarkson, the heart and soul of the movement, is portrayed as an alcoholic. Olaudah Equiano, whose autobiography of his experience as a slave galvanized the British public, is portrayed in the film, but has very few speaking lines. The portrayal of Wilberforce as the sole hero of the movement is therefore inaccurate. The movie also touches on the evangelism of Wilberforce as a catalyst for his crusading, but doesn’t spend a great deal of time discussing his faith beyond a conversation with William Pitt. Wilberforce is a compelling figure and an important historical character, but his role is somewhat overstated and some of his important life details are

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