Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Amazing Grace

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic material involving slavery, and some mild language.
Profanity:Brief strong language, ugly racial epithets
Nudity/Sex:Reference to rape
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Tense emotional scenes, severe symptoms of illness, description of torture and abuse, sad deaths
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007

Parents should know that this film includes frank descriptions of some of the most profound atrocities of the slave trade, including torture and rape. The painful symptoms of Wilberforce’s long-term illness are also included. The movie’s portrayal of extraordinary leadership, courage, and persistance is in the context of positions taken by other characters that by today’s standards are obviously inhumane and racist.


Families who see this film should talk about why Wilberforce was among the first to see that slavery must be abolished. What was different about the situation in Britain that permitted this to be accomplished years before slavery was abolished in America, and without a war? How are the arguments and tactics adopted by the opposition similar to those used in other great debates, from civil rights to women’s suffrage?

Families who appreciate this movie will want to learn more about William Wilberforce and William Pitt, the youngest prime minister in British history. Families will also appreciate Amistad and the groundbreaking television miniseries Roots. The essay “When Mr. Beecher Sold Slaves in Plymouth Pulpit” describes the actions of abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe) took the dramatic step of staging a slave auction to demonstrate its barbarity. Families will enjoy Bill Moyers’ superb PBS special about the history of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”



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