Period biopic based on the real life of British slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce. Director Michael Apted pays tribute, on the advent of the bicentennial of the abolition of slavery, with a loving biography of the man who, almost single-handedly, made it happen. Wilberforce's is a story of Herculean courage and absolute dedication to compassion - the noblest cause. The film follows Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) as a young parliamentarian in the late 1700's with socialist ideals that sit poorly with the generally older crowd in government. He does, however, make one very important and lifelong friend in parliament - future Prime Minister William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch). Disgusted by what he sees around him in the homes of the privileged - African slaves treated as less than human - Wilbeforce grows to be a strong proponent of ending the trade entirely. He also takes counsel in an elderly clergyman, John Newton (Albert Finney) - writer of the eponymous hymn - who advises him to stick to his guns and abolish this vile business once and for all.