Based on actual events, this historical drama tells the story of William Wilberforce, an 18th-century English politician who launched an aggressive campaign to abolish British slavery, despite staunch opposition.
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- Michael Apted
PGThematic material involving slavery, and some mild language
English, French, Spanish (Neutral)Closed captioned
NoLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 5.1Other features
Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary; making-of featurette; Chris Tomlin music video.
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that a former slave and a former slave ship captain describe slavery in direct, no-holds-barred language. Flashbacks and dream sequences also involve slavery. A horse is beaten in an early scene. Instruments of physical abuse -- chains, restraints, clamps -- appear on screen. Men smoke pipes, and several characters drink liquor at parties and sometimes alone. Wilberforce suffers from colitis and takes opium-based medicine to treat it. Mild language ("hell" and "damn"), plus one very pointed use of the "N" word.
- Sexual Content
- Wilberforce dreams of a scene in which fully clothed couples embrace and cavort in a theater; minor flirting and kissing between Wilberforce and Barbara; she shows cleavage several times.
- In the first scene, two men beat a horse (Wilberforce stops them); much discussion of slavery and physical abuse; Equiano shows a brand on his chest; metal torture and restraint devices inspire Wilberforce to work harder at abolition; flashback scene shows a child knocked by an explosion; Wilberforce and others describe or imagine slaves in chains and under duress. Wilberforce's poor health leads to some tense scenes.
- An overtly "bad" character uses the "N" word; other profanity is mild, including "ass," "hell," and "damn."
- Social Behavior
- Wilberforce is a good man struggling to abolish slavery; his political opponents describe slavery as "good business," even though the film repeatedly demonstrates the dehumanization and violence such "business" entails. Plenty of political wrangling and deal-making.
- Not applicable
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Pipe smoking; several scenes show social drinking (Wilberforce disparages drinking as a sign of low morals); Wilberforce takes an opium-based medicine (laudanum).
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it