Monday, February 26, 2007

William Wilberforce: the movie

This looks like a really good movie about the devout British abolitionist, William Wilberforce. Here is a review, via a wonderful site called Mommy Life. We always enjoy seeing the Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd in period pieces. It is interesting how there was no slavery in France; a former slave was a knight and celebrated musician at the royal court, as is discussed below. Also, the film shows how slavery could be abolished through peaceful measures, without war, and with minimal social chaos. Share


Anonymous said...

Well now color me gobsmacked!

Do you mean to tell me that the War of Northern Intervention didn't necessarily have to be, or, Lincoln forfend, might not actually even have been about them pauvres esclaves foncés?

The next thing I know, you may be insinuating one ought not blindly trust revolutionary politicians with a maniacal glint in their eye, especially if they deck themselves out in red, white and blue, soit il le Tricoleur or the Stars and Stripes.

Perhaps life is best viewed in different shades of gray....

elena maria vidal said...

Uh, oh, sc, you are going to get me into trouble!;)

(And I meant to tell you in the other combox on that I went to SUNY Albany, not Union College. (I should not post comments first thing in the morning before coffee.) Not that I would recommend either one, although there some excellent professors at each school.)

I would like to learn more about Wilberforce and his successful strategy. He seems to be someone who sincerely cared about the enslaved Africans in England and was not just using their plight for a political agenda or power play. I wonder how authentic the movie is?

Anonymous said...

Wilberforce was, in all likelihood, a highly decent person. I don't know all that much about him. I do know that he moved in the same circles as Thomas Babington Macaulay's family. TBM was an incredibly bright man, whose photographic memory allowed him to recite texts he had read decades before verbatim, who did great work in the fight against slavery, and also did a lot of good in India. It's been years since I really read my Macaulay, but as my memory serves me, I got the impression that he'd been in India, seen what chronic injustice was like, and felt that slavery was terribly detrimental to the British Empire. The British Empire, warts and all, was a huge force for the good in world history.

The interesting thing is that a Republican senator by the name of Brownback, a Christian so pious and close to God that he makes it to mass and an evangelical church service every Sunday morning, and would like to be elected President next year, has taken out a trademark on "Wilberforce Republican™."

Before he was against it, Brownback was strongly for bringing freedom™ to Iraq, and also spearheaded efforts in 2003 to bring freedom™ to Darfur, a region of a country where them pauvres Africains foncés had been killing each other for a good twenty if not two hundred years, and nasty fighting duly re-erupted when the Chinese began to extract oil from the area.

Of course, when some pauvres Africains foncés were to be settled in the United States, Brownback was adamant that Kansas would not take even a seul pauvre Africain foncé, perhaps hoping they'd head for Massachusetts, as had been originally planned.

They say that the two inevitabilities of life are death and taxes; two others seem to be frenzied do-gooders cropping up to do good™ in any country endowed with ample reserves of oyl™, and movies that boost one political candidate or the other in the run up to primaries and presidential elections.

elena maria vidal said...

Very interesting, sc. Yes, the British Empire did a lot of good in most places they colonized (Ireland is another story.) My husband and I were talking about that while watching "Out of Africa" the other night.

Anonymous said...

Ioan Gruffudd will always be Horatio Hornblower to me. Good to see him back!

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Elisa, and he has improved with age.