Upcoming slave trade abolition movie AMAZING GRACE has been criticised for reducing the suffering of Africans to "a mere bit part". The British movie, directed by Michael Apted, focuses on the life of abolitionist WILLIAM WILBERFORCE. However, black church and community leaders in the UK have attacked the film for undermining the slaves' own part in liberating themselves. LEE JASPER, secretary of the Assembly Against Racism and equalities advisor to London Mayor KEN LIVINGSTONE, says, "The film prettifies the tragedy, the horror and the brutality of the slave trade. "It seeks to give the impression that one man freed millions of slaves and negates the contribution of the enslaved Africans to their own freedom to a bit part." But Apted defended his portrayal of events in the film, saying, "The focus of the piece is on politics. It represents the point of view of Wilberforce." Amazing Grace, which stars IOAN GRUFFUD, RAMOLA GARAI, Albert Finney and Senegalese singing star YOUSSOU N'DOUR, is due to be released in the US later this month (FEB07).