Amazing Grace, based on the life of antislavery pioneer William Wilberforce, is directed by Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough, Coal Miner’s Daughter) from an original screenplay written by Academy Award® nominee Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things).
Wilberforce, who, as a Member of Parliament, navigated the world of 18th Century backroom politics to end the slave trade in the British Empire. John Newton, penman of the famous hymn “Amazing Grace,” a confidante of Wilberforce who inspires him to pursue a life of service to humanity. William Pitt the Younger, England’s youngest ever Prime Minister at the age of 24, encourages his friend Wilberforce to take up the fight to outlaw slavery and supports him in his struggles in Parliament.
Elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21, and on his way to a successful political career, Wilberforce, over the course of two decades, took on the English establishment and persuaded those in power to end the inhumane trade of slavery.
Olaudah Equiano, born in Africa and sent as a slave to the Colonies, bought his freedom and made his home in London, where he wrote a best-selling account of his life and became a leading figure in the fight to end the slavery of his fellow countrymen.