February 18, 2014
Review of “Amistad” by Sally Hadden summary
Amistad begins with the event that made the ships history different from other slave ships. Cinque also known as Sengbe feed himself and his fellow slaves. They overthrew the ships crew killing all the spanish sailors but two in order to sail back to africa. The two men that were left of the crew managed to trick their new found captors and sail to new york. The initial trial is before a Connecticut judge and jury. Initial attempts to speak to Cinque and the fellow survivors failed due to not understand what the africans are saying. During the second trial they find a British/Mende sailor who is willing to translate. Through to interpreter Cinque is able to describe how he was taken captive near his village, taken to the slave fortress in Sierra Leone. He describes the overboard throwing and casual murder of fifty slaves. Coughlin rules the survivors of Amistad to be returned to Africa and given back their freedom. The spanish government appeals the case. In the supreme court Amistads captives tell their story. Adams tells the jury “He is the only true hero in this room...If he were white, he wouldn't be standing here fighting for his life. If he were white...songs would be written about him, his story would be told and retold in the classrooms, our children would know his name as they know Patrick Henry's!” Two sentences are read from a justice indicating that the Amistad survivors are to receive their freedom. The film closes showing Cinque on a boat destined for Africa. The film closes showing each of the main characters with captions indicating their fates. For anyone interested in the films portrait of legal events, its barely average. The film would not be suited for a legal history class due to its inaccuracy. There are several important factual misrepresentations such as the American crew that boarded the Amistad most likely steered...
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