Monday, March 19

William Wilberforce. And movie ratings.

I just saw the movie, “Amazing Grace,” which is about the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. I highly recommend it, and for those sensitive people out there (like me), remember to bring your hanky. The movie is based on real people and events, but the main character, William Wilberforce, is so caring and compassionate that he seems more like a Dickens character (like Nicholas Nickleby—haven’t read it but the movie is good), rather than a real person. But it’s still refreshing to see movies about positive historical role models. Despite his being British, I think Wilberforce should replace Jackson on the $20 bill (Trail of Tears, anyone?). His life is certainly a better model for ending racial discrimination that Jackson’s was.

Incidentally, the song “Amazing Grace” was written by John Newton, a slave ship owner turned monk who counseled Wilberforce on his journey to overturn the slave trade.

As for movie ratings (for those who are interested in such things), there is a site called kids-in-mind, which rates movies for content. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good alternative to the MPAA, which is unreliable and inconsistent at best. Kids-in-mind gives a number rating from 0 to 10 for three categories: Sex, Violence, and Profanity. They also explain in detail (if you really want to know) why the movie rates high or low in a category. The MPAA rating is included if you want to compare. Click here to go to the site.

A few samples of their ratings: The Return of the King: 1.7.1 (sex 1,violence 7, profanity 1), Casino Royale: 5.7.4, Titanic: 5.6.6, Schindler’s List: 6.10.5, and Amazing Grace: 2.4.2. Maybe this will help to curb the silly “R is bad PG-13 is good” dichotomy, and allow people to make better entertainment decisions for their kids and for themselves.

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