Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Amazing Grace -- a review

Amazing Grace, the movie, has been released.

Pejman Yousefzadeh saw the film.

He liked it.

It is easy for us to live our twenty-first century lives and to reassure ourselves that the triumph of William Wilberforce and other abolitionists over the British slave trade was as sure as morning following night. The truth, however, is that the victory of Right over Wrong is always a too close run thing for those who seek to be in the Right. People who are in the Right must always fight scared, if only because the stakes are so high. And in the event that I have not spelled matters out explicitly enough, linger over the next two sentences: No victory over an abomination can be taken for granted, even if those victories follow one after another at a dizzying pace. No triumph can be assumed, even if we sometimes think we have stumbled onto a treasure trove of them.

Victories of Right over Wrong take time. They take effort. They take sweat. They even take lives. There is nothing inevitable about them. And that is how it should be. Because if it were otherwise, then heroism would be devalued. Courage would be an everyday trait instead of an exceedingly rare one. Valor would be as natural as breathing, instead of being a prized and rare quality of the soul. And eloquence in service of the truly noble deed would put people to sleep instead of waking them up.

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