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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Amistad Movie Review

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Amistad Review


Steven Spielberg’s Amistad was a compelling movie made with dignity. It also had the


support of an outstanding cast. Spielberg once again took on the challenge of producing a sad


Custom writing service can write essays on Amistad Movie Review


story without the common heroes that we are accustomed to in our more typical films. Although


their are changes in the film, the basic facts are in order. These changes are only meant to


enhance the film’s dramatic force.


The Amistad involves a group of some 40 Africans who were captured and placed on La


Amistad. However, they revoluted and escaped from thier Spanish owners by killing them. The


slave ship ended up being brought into New London by the U.S.S Washington. After being


captured, they were arrested and imprisoned. They were charged with mutiny and murder.


In trial, a lower court accuited the Africans. However that ruling was applealed to the


Supreme Court. The man behind this decision was President Van Buren. John Quincy Adams


defended the Africans along with a lawyer named Baldwin. Together they won the trial and freed


the Africans.


Speilberg’s movie pays much attention to the court seens. This enhances the stories


passion and suspense. Speilberg also presents scenes from the Africans point of view. These


ideas are not factual, but do show how some of the whites “rituals” are odd to the Africans.


Although Speilberg had the basic facts of the Amistad in order, he did use “dramatic


license.” A dramatic license is a term giving to film makers meaning that they can or may


miscontstrue the actualy history of the event in order to produce a sucessful and entertaining film.


Some minor details were altered for the film. An example of this are the characters Saw


and Beliva. They are completely fictional. Furthermore, no one knows the exact story of what


happened to Cinque during the middle passage. Another minor detail is that the case of the


Amistad spanned over the course of presidencies, not one. Van Buren lost his job, William


Harrison died 4 days after taking office therefore leaving John Tyler as president when the


Amistads finally went home.


Major points were also left out in the Amistad film. One is the fact that Connecticut was a


slave state in 18. When the Amistad was captured by the U.S.S Washington, it was towed to


New London instead of the much closer New York Harbor. This was because Gedney would be


able to double his claim in Connecticut for the slaves and possesions because it was a slave state.


Another major point left out in the film was the fact that there were treaties. Pickneys


treaty, which is cited by Spielberg, said the Africans were cargo. However, another treaty proved


to help the defense greater than Pickney’s treaty. This treaty was not stated in the film. It said


that abducting slaves from Africa was illegal. Spain, Britain and the United States signed the


treaty.


Also, Speilberg failed to characterize the other Amistad Africans in the film. Cinque was


the chief of the Amistad Africans and the hero of the film. However, Africans like Grabeu, and


Burnah were never characterzied in the film. Grabeu was the nd chief of the Africans and


Burnah became fluent in English and helped with translation. These important Africans were


never given names in the film and were simply just faces of the film.


Judge Andrew T. Judson was a huge racist. However, he was appointed as judge for the


trail. This detail was barely touched upon in the film. Previous to the Amistad case, Judson


helped get the Black Law passed. This law stated that black people could not go to school in the


state without the written consent of the townspeople and town council where the school was


located.


In conclusion, the Amistad film did prove to be a moving and touching re-telling of the


tragic tale of the African slave ship. Speilberg did use a dramatic license, but only to show the


heartbreaking in the best possible light.





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