Amistad is a reformation of the true story about an 1839 slave mutiny on a small Spanish ship, La Amistad, ironically the Spanish word for "friendship." The Africans was abducted from West Africa and sold to the Spanish slavers which is in violation of international law. Stephen Spielberg, the writer of Amistad, does a great job in recreating the Amistad mutiny that impelled a series of trials beginning in the lower courts of Connecticut and ultimately ending in the Supreme Court. Events following the mutiny raise controversial questions about slavery and freedom. This case not only marks a milestone for Abolitionists in their fight against slavery but it also questioned the natural laws of our Constitution. This trial marked the beginning of a court case that dramatically challenged our judicial system.
Leading up to the trial of the Africans, Spielberg illustrates the horrors the slaves undergone as they were captured and taken from their homes. It is very distressing to see the cruelty that was imposed on the slaves as they were captured. The slaves were shackled and chained, then packed in an unsanitary, overcrowded slave ship, and exposed to inhuman treatment, on the Portuguese slaver Tecora as it makes its way through the Middle Passage towards Cuba. Although a third of the slaves died aboard the Tecora before it reached its destination, those that survived the trip were eventually sold into slavery in Havanna, Cuba.
Djimon Hounsou, who played the role of Cinque, a native Mendi African from Sierra Leone, does an outstanding job in the portrayal Cinque. The most impressive scene being when Cinque stands up in the courtroom scene where he stands up and says, "Make us free". A lot of people wouldn't have put themselves through that much pain, with no guarantee of results, but he had wanted to get back to his family so badly that it didn't matter. I felt this was the most affecting part of the entire movie.
My reaction to the movie was...
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