Based on the true life story of William Wilberforce, a leader of the British abolition movement, Amazing Grace chronicles his epic struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century. "Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn published in 1779, with words written in 1772 by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton (1725–1807). Amazing Grace made its North American premiere as the closing-night gala attraction at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. The idealist William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade. Amazing Grace (2006) - IMDb Menu The passage of the Slave Trade Act is depicted in the 2006 film, also called Amazing Grace, starring Albert Finney as Newton and Ioan Gruffud as Wilberforce. Newton wrote the words from personal experience. By David Sheward