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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Amazing Grace and amazing activism

Last night, Miss Eagle flew into Carlton to the Cinema Nova where - a preview screening of Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace was co-hosted with Liberty Victoria. Amazing Grace gives a portrayal of the adult life of anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce.

The movie has a star-studded cast:Ioan Gruffud as William Wilberforce, supported by - among others - Michael Gambon, Ciaron Hinds, and the brilliant and indefatigable Albert Finney. Miss E confesses, dear Reader, that in each of the three scenes in which the inestimable Mr Finney appeared as John Newton, leading Evangelical Anglican minister and hymn writer, that she was reduced to tears. Finney's power and longevity - 47 years of making movies with the three score and ten years already notched up - are impressive.

After the movie - which received much applause from its audience - there was a Q & A with a distinguished panel of social and political activists. The panel was led by prominent QC and civil libertarian, Julian Burnside. (After the show, also spotted his magical spouse Kate Durham.) Burnside was ably assisted by Keryn Clarke, Mordy Bromberg SC, and Kon Karapanagiotidis.

Keryn Clarke works for the Uniting Church of Australia as a Social Justice Officer. Her prime involvement is with Just Act. However, last night Keryn was speaking for Stop the Traffik which campaigns against human trafficking in its modern form.

Mordy Bromberg SC is a barrister working in the area of human rights specializing in labour rights.

Kon Karapanagiotidis is CEO of the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Australia’s leading asylum seeker aid, health and advocacy organization.

The tenor of the evening was how an individual or group of individuals working together can, with determination, over time bring about change. The lesson of the evening was to go out there and do something to make this world a better place.