Amazing Grace and the Blogosphere

Walden Media (who gave us The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) are releasing a movie next March that might set the bloggers keyboards a-tappin’. Amazing Grace is a movie based on the life of William Wilberforce, set to release on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slave trade in UK.


I was talking to some CMS mission personnel who have seen a preview of the film and there is already discussion about how this movie could support their existing efforts in bringing Christ’s freedom to those bound up in forms of slavery, like African Snow, a play about slavery in the 21st century, and Free for All, a youth theatre troupe that will tour the cathedrals of UK over the next year. According to Russell Price, who is heading up CMS theme of Setting Captives Free in this years Greenbelt Festival, Walden Media are steering the marketing away from their previous associations (disney?) and may, in fact, ask the church crowd to help with the promotion.

Do you think the blogosphere will give favor to this release? I know we didn’t do much at all for LWW and even less for Passion. But what if this movie was connected to some of our own efforts to stop slavery and enable freedom. Is it OK to talk about collaboration in promoting this movie if there is a win-win situation? And does it have to happen haphazardly or could we be more strategic, if we believed in the goals of this movie? What do you think?

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Jody says:

    I would have to learn more about the movie to make a strong statement, but I think it is possible to support the film throughout the blogosphere in anticipation, and even after many of us see it. I am always curious to see a film incorporating Christian values and messages on the big screen. I’ve seen a lot of low budget Christian films that convey a good message, but can’t do a whole lot with what they’re given, so the film can take on a cheap quality that is easy for critics to poke fun at. This one might actually be quality, but again I’ll have to learn more about it. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Thanks for updating us… Sounds like an interesting project.

  • Amazing Grace Movie

    Andrew Jones (aka tallskinnykiwi) has posted about a movie scheduled for release next march about William Wilberforce and the movement to end slavery in the UK. It is called “Amazing Grace”. The movie is being put out by the same…

  • Tom Allen says:

    I was interested to see your mention of of CMS and “African Snow” – I don’t think it is going ahead. We gave money from my local Church but despite various attempts to get further information apart from a receipt we have heard nothing. I think our Treasurer is about to insist on getting the money back so that we can offer somewhere else.

  • Gabi says:

    I’m game for Hungary. Other countries?!?

  • carmen says:

    i’ve been following this film sporadically on my blog, and find your connections great and welcome thought fodder. they’re right up this blogger’s ally in more ways than one. i’m facinated by film and faith and also *very* passionate about finding a way to stop the LRA. i hadn’t heard of African Snow–thanks for the head’s up. blessings.

  • At least it isn’t this movie with this kind of controversy.

  • Simon says:

    Saw a preview clip of the film in one of the main seminars at Spring Harvest at Easter. Looks a great film, well produced and will definitely provoke debate and, hopefully, action from the Church and others. For those wanting to get campaigning etc, see

  • sasa says:

    Hey, Andrew,
    you might be intersted to check out this one, also: – it was shot here in CZ and got an Oscar nomination. Seems to be quite amazing… I hope to get a copy and show it at SLOT art festival this month.

  • durand says:

    I learned about the project during a concert tour in Ireland when we played in Buncrana, the harbor where John Newton’s slave ship escaped to between the two storms that almost took his life.
    The town fathers, with the guidance of an Irish navy man, now missionary with OM is working feverishly to develop a series of events and even an intereactive museum to commemorate the 200 years that have passed since Amazing Grace was penned.
    They’re even attempting to get the debut of the film shown there, where it all started. It’s a powerful story, and I think one for our time that would draw a direct link between God changing lives and helping change society through those lives.
    I could think of worse things to get behind.

  • Bruce Wall says:

    I have been very interested to read of the excitement concerning the new film on Wilberforce. I very much look forward to seeing it. I was also interested to read about ‘African Snow’ a joint venture, I believe, between the much admired Riding Lights Theatre Company and the Theatre Royal York.
    I just wanted to bring your attention to another play that was put together in a workshop at Intermission at St. Saviour’s in London ( called Black Atlas. This is produced by the London Shakespeare Workout and is based/inspired by George McDonald Fraser’s novel ‘Black Ajax’. It tells the true story of two slaves, one from America, another from Africa who fate throws together in Regency England. The play will tour throughout the UK in 2007, opening on 18th February at the Cambridge Arts Theatre and closing on 4th April at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Yorkshire.
    Should you be interested, full details on the production can be found on:
    I mention this only because of the interest in the subject matter expressed earlier on this discussion board.
    Much thanks.

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