Last weekend became exciting for me because I finally got to watch Amazing Grace, the somewhat fictionalized version of how William Wilberforce, the social reformer whose heavenly birthday is on 29 July, worked to abolish slavery. In the process, we get to meet John Newton, the preacher and former slave-ship owner who wrote a certain hymn commemorating his conversion experience. (No prizes for guessing, of course.)

This film did not make it to local theaters not only because, I suspect, many of the majority Catholic community do not know the hymn in question outside police funerals in movies, but also because it is definitely not your run-of-the-mill feel-good film. It talks about a subject about which many Filipinos know little (in terms of its history in the West, for instance), but which some of us still experience. And while the movie has been tamed somewhat for a general audience, there are things about which parents do need to discuss with their children. Hence, I would urge parental guidance. Not to mention reading on this year’s bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. This was when the movie’s commercial release in the UK was set.

Anyway, as for the title, it should be obvious as to why I chose it. More on that story later.


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