And eventually, on appeal, former President John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) argues eloquently for the freedom of the men. Luckily, it is a Northern court, or they would have little chance at all. " Roger Ebert awarded the film three out of four stars, writing: "Amistad," like Spielberg's "Schindler's List," is [...] about the ways good men try to work realistically within an evil system to spare a few of its victims. But they guide it instead into U.S. waters, and the Africans find themselves in an American court. They include a horrifying scene where, with food running low on the ship, the weaker captives are chained together and thrown over the side to drown so that more food will be left for the rest. Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, and Matthew McConaughey had starring roles. It was the year when a terrible rebellion took place on board the Spanish ship La Amistad, which transported slaves. And another sequence in which the mechanics of the slave trade are examined, as Africans capture members of enemy tribes and sell them to slave traders. As the ship is crossing from Cuba to the U.S., Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), who was a tribal leader in Africa, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. In an unfamiliar country and not speaking a single word of English, the Africans find themselves in a legal battle. They rise up against the Spanish crew of the ship, which is taking them from a Havana slave market to another destination in Cuba. Amistad is a 1997 American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the events in 1839 aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by the Washington, a U.S. revenue cutter. (Since it was the policy of slavery to destroy African families, these scenes are especially poignant.) Many academics, including Columbia University professor Eric Foner, have criticized Amistad for historical inaccuracy and the misleading characterizations of the Amistad case as a "turning point" in the American perspective on slavery. Holabird contends that Cinque could have been made a debt slave by his fellow Sierra Leoneans. But in praising it, I touch on the film's great weakness: It is too much about the law and not enough about the victims. Incongruous as it may seem, it was perfectly possible in the nineteenth century to condemn the importation of slaves from Africa while simultaneously defending slavery and the flourishing slave trade within the United States. I thought that was a little over-wrought.
, 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841, Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy, Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases, Excellence in Production Design for a Feature Film, Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Supreme Court of the United States in fiction, Antonio González, 1st Marquess of Valdeterrazo, "The United States, Appellants, v. The Libellants and Claimants of the Schooner Amistad ...", https://www.theguardian.com/film/2000/jul/14/morganfreeman, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, United States House of Representatives, 1831–1848, President of the United States, 1825–1829, U.S. Instead, the court must decide whether the defendants were born of slaves (in which case they are guilty of murder) or were illegally brought from Africa (and therefore had a right to defend themselves against kidnapping). One of the astonishing facts revealed in Steven Spielberg's “Amistad” is that seven of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices in 1839 were slave-owning Southerners. Their case is taken to every level of the American judiciary and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court. Later on, the ship arrived in Havana, Cuba. David Franzoni's screenplay was based on the 1987 book Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy, by the historian Howard Jones. Much of the story revolves a courtroom drama as lawyers for the slaves seek their freedom and return home. Instead, the navigators misdirect the Africans and sail directly north to the east coast of the United States, where the ship is stopped by the American Navy, and the surviving Africans imprisoned as runaway slaves.
Baldwin argues that the Africans had been captured in British Sierra Leone to be sold in the Americas illegally. They are unlucky at first with their defense team, which is led by Roger Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey), a real estate lawyer who bases his case on property law and only slowly comes to see his clients as human beings. As the ship is crossing from Cuba to the U.S., Cinque, who was a tribal leader in Africa, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. Two Naval officers, Thomas R. Gedney, and Richard W. Meade, claim them as salvage while the two Spanish navigators, Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, produce proof of purchase. Entirely apart from the moral issues involved, “Schindler's List” works better as narrative because it is about a risky deception, while “Amistad” is about the search for a truth that, if found, will be small consolation to the millions of existing slaves. As the tension rises, Cinqué stands up from his seat and repeatedly says, "Give us, us free!". I had a moment of err, during the killings. | Cinque tells his story at trial: Cinque was kidnapped by slave traders outside his village, and held in the slave fortress of Lomboko, where thousands of captives were held under heavy guard. Synopsis Judge Coglin rules in favor of the Africans. He then dictates a letter to Forsyth saying that he was right — the slave fortress doesn't exist. The words are primarily in Mende, one of Sierra Leone's major languages. The film opens on the ship Amistad, where Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) is able to free himself from shackles and release his fellow prisoners. Despite refusing to help when the case was initially presented, Adams agrees to assist with the case.  The lyrics from "Dry Your Tears, Afrika" are from a 1967 poem by French-speaking Ivorian poet Bernard Binlin Dadié. The case was ultimately resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841. United States Attorney Holabird attacks Cinqué's "tale" of being captured and kept in the slave fortress, and especially questions the throwing of precious cargo overboard. Amistad’s problems go far deeper than such anachronisms as President Martin Van Buren campaigning for re-election on a whistle-stop train tour (in 1840, candidates did not campaign), or people constantly talking about the impending Civil War, which lay twenty years in the future. The musical score for Amistad was composed by John Williams. Parents Guide. Amistad is a 1997 American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the events in 1839 aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by the Washington, a U.S. revenue cutter. We do not need movies to convince us of the evil of slavery and the Holocaust. | Ambassador to the Netherlands, 1794–1797, President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President, Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Historical Society holdings, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Amistad_(film)&oldid=985404772, Films about Presidents of the United States, United States Declaration of Independence, Album articles lacking alt text for covers, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Steven Spielberg, Debbie Allen, Colin Wilson. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1814–1817, U.S. Analysis Of The Film Amistad 1574 Words | 7 Pages. [...] "Schindler's List" works better as narrative because it is about a risky deception, while "Amistad" is about the search for a truth that, if found, will be small consolation to the millions of existing slaves. Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun also appears in the film as Justice Joseph Story. United States Attorney William S. Holabird brings charges of piracy and murder. Baldwin shows from the Tecora’s inventory that the number of African people taken as slaves was reduced by fifty. Amistad is the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839. In light of this evidence, the staff of President Van Buren has the judge presiding over the case replaced by Judge Coglin, who is younger and believed to be impressionable and easily influenced. What is most valuable about “Amistad” is the way it provides faces and names for its African characters, whom the movies so often make into faceless victims. Joseph Cinqué, a leader of the Africans, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. The two men who bought them are spared, and promise to guide the ship back to Africa. After all the slaves are removed from the fortress, Fitzgerald orders the ship's cannon to destroy it. They don't speak a word of English, and it seems like they are doomed to die for killing their captors when an abolitionist lawyer decides to take their case, arguing that they were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all. Analysis Of The Movie ' Amistad ' 960 Words | 4 Pages “Amistad” was released in 1997 on the territory of the United States of America.The historical period, portrayed in the film, is the year of 1839. One of the astonishing facts revealed in Steven Spielberg's “Amistad” is that seven of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices in 1839 were slave-owning Southerners. Despite what the film suggests, the actual Supreme Court decision reversed District and Circuit decrees regarding the Africans' conveyance back to Africa; they were to be deemed free, but the U.S. government could not take them back to Africa, as they had arrived on American soil as free people. Instead, they are taken to Connecticut, where they are brought to trial for murder.
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