Unrepentant Euro-centrism in the movie Amazing Grace of Freedom

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Title: Unrepentant Euro-centrism in the movie Amazing Grace of Freedom
Author: Matthews, Gelien
Abstract: In the year 2007, as part of the commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of the British abolition of the trade in captured Africans, Michael Apted directed the movie Amazing Grace of Freedom. While the movie is a good historical source for understanding the role played by British abolitionists in ending Britain’s involvement in the forced human traffic from Africa, it is flawed insofar as it exaggerates the agency of white British humanitarians. The movie is Eurocentric, seeped in the dominant and traditional humanitarian and religious explanations for abolition, male oriented and totally disregards the self liberating ethos of the enslaved. The contribution of the wider British public, of women, of blacks in the United Kingdom of the enslaved in the colonies, and of economic factors in abolition are either sidelined or ignored altogether in the themes explored in the movie. A critique of the movie’s shortcomings is essential, not only because of its narrow interpretation of abolition but also because in an age of readily accessible technology just by the click of a button this attractively packaged but faulty historical source can get into the hands of millions of viewers around the world.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2139/11129
Date: 2011-03

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