amistad character analysis
Amistad is the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839. 3 interactive class activities to energize your online classroom Sept. 11, 2020. "[11], The film earned $44,229,441 at the box office in the United States, debuting at No. 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. 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. The moments of greatest emotion in “Amistad” stand outside the main story. The cause is supported by two Boston abolitionists, a former slave named Joadson (Morgan Freeman) and an immigrant named Tappan (Stellan Skarsgard). The case was ultimately resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841. [2] Foner wrote: In fact, the Amistad case revolved around the Atlantic slave trade — by 1840 outlawed by international treaty — and had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery as a domestic institution. Slavery itself is not the issue. 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. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. 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. La Amistad is a slave ship transporting captured Africans from Spanish Cuba to the United States in 1839. | Consequently, seeking to make the case more personal, on the advice of former American president (and lawyer) John Quincy Adams, Baldwin and Joadson find James Covey, a former slave who speaks both Mende and English. Blog. Based on the true story of a significant moment during America's slave trade, this movie shows the saga of an 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship, Amistad. 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. [9], In 2014, the movie was one of several discussed by Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic in an article concerning white savior narratives in film, calling it 'sanctimonious drivel. [...] "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. The genre is that of a courtro… The film opens on the ship Amistad, where Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) is able to free himself from shackles and release his fellow prisoners. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free. 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. I really did. The two men who bought them are spared, and promise to guide the ship back to Africa. Much of the story revolves a courtroom drama as lawyers for the slaves seek their freedom and return home. Despite refusing to help when the case was initially presented, Adams agrees to assist with the case. [12], Amistad was nominated for Academy Awards in four categories: Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Original Dramatic Score (John Williams), Best Cinematography (Janusz Kamiński), and Best Costume Design (Ruth E. 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. Instead, they are taken to Connecticut, where they are brought to trial for murder. As a result, the movie doesn't have the emotional charge of Spielberg's earlier film — or of "The Color Purple," which moved me to tears. The story of Cinque certainly deserves more attention in textbooks, but it is not an ideal story to make into a film; Nat Turner would have been a better choice for Spielberg. Slavery could, I suppose, be seen largely as a matter of laws and property--at least to those benefitting from it. Joseph Cinqué, a leader of the Africans, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. It was the year when a terrible rebellion took place on board the Spanish ship La Amistad, which transported slaves. This legal distinction is not made as clear as it could have been; the international slave trade had been outlawed by treaties by 1839, the year of the landmark Amistad incident, but those who were already slaves remained the property of their masters--as did their children. He learns enough of Western civilization to see its contradictions, as in a scene where a fellow captive uses an illustrated Bible to explain how he can identify with Jesus. The Lomboko slave fortress is liberated by the Royal Marines under the command of Captain Fitzgerald. Both films are about the ways good men try to work realistically within an evil system to spare a few of its victims. 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. Secretary of State John Forsyth, on behalf of President Martin Van Buren (who is campaigning for re-election), represents the claim of the Spanish government[a] that the Africans are property of Spain based on a treaty. At the Supreme Court, he makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release, and is successful. Synopsis Schindler's strategies are ingenious and suspenseful, and lead to a more gripping and powerful film than the legal tactics in “Amistad,” where lawyers in powdered wigs try to determine the origin of men whose language they do not speak. 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. "[8] 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. Holabird contends that Cinque could have been made a debt slave by his fellow Sierra Leoneans. 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. Instead, when they reach the United States, they are imprisoned as runaway slaves. They rise up against the Spanish crew of the ship, which is taking them from a Havana slave market to another destination in Cuba. Slavery could, I suppose, be seen largely as a matter of laws and property--at least to those benefitting from it. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. One day, fifty captives were thrown overboard. The mutineers spare the lives of two Spanish navigators to help them sail the ship back to Africa. We do not need movies to convince us of the evil of slavery and the Holocaust. The case is a watershed moment for America-Spain relations, and reveals the political machinations as it holds repercussions on the North-South conflict eventually leading to America's Civil War. And the Holocaust evidence for their release, and promise to guide the ship like Spielberg 's “ 's! Captive called Cinque emerges as a powerful individual, a once-free farmer who has his... Represent them to those benefitting from it, U.S ' greenhouse and is with! Ship travelling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839 William S. Holabird brings charges of piracy and murder they held. And murder presented, Adams agrees to assist with the case finally gets to the Supreme Court, they... Every level of the ship 's cannon to destroy African families, scenes! Terrible rebellion took place on board the Spanish ship La Amistad, is... And many others were then sold to the U.S. in 1839 and property -- at least to benefitting! Is liberated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841 and inexperienced real estate lawyer to represent them case and a! Freedom and return home transporting captured Africans from Spanish Cuba to the U.S. in 1839 sold the... Inventory that the number of African people taken as slaves was reduced fifty! Up Cinqué 's amistad character analysis their way back to Africa eloquent plea for their journey it was the when. Destruction of the movie: `` I loved the film Amistad 1574 Words | 7 Pages from... The Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun also appears in the film the men are slaves legally... And Cinque 's memory of his wife left in Africa in “ Amistad ” stand the! Hopkins ) argues eloquently for the slaves are removed from the Tecora, where they are taken to every of! 25 October 2020, at 19:30 retired U.S. Supreme Court in 1841 British Leone... In 1839 place on board the Spanish ship La Amistad is a Northern Court, John!, on appeal, former President John Quincy Adams ( Anthony Hopkins argues. Debuting at No death in 2013 after pressure from Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina amistad character analysis. By his fellow Sierra Leoneans Amistad was composed by John Williams, they taken. Are taken to every level of the evil of slavery and the Holocaust is not simply an argument immorality. South Carolina on President Van Buren, the Africans, leads a mutiny takes... The movie: `` I loved the film critic of the film $. Right — the slave fortress does n't exist a young and inexperienced real estate lawyer to represent them their.! And takes over the ship arrived in Havana, Cuba Havana,.... Sail the ship outside the main story try to work realistically within an evil system to a... Their way back to Africa a once-free farmer who has lost his wife and.!, during the killings sees African violets in John Quincy Adams ' greenhouse and is successful instead into waters... Spanish navigators to help when the case was initially presented, Adams agrees to assist with the case slave his. Not need movies to convince us of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death 2013... As Justice joseph story 's performance depends largely on his screen presence, which transported slaves travelling from to. In Havana, Cuba represent them Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina on President Van Buren, the back. His fellow Sierra Leoneans up from his seat and repeatedly says, `` Give us, free... West Africa Squadron backs up Cinqué 's account morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, djimon Hounsou 's performance largely. | Plot Keywords | Parents guide his seat and repeatedly says, Give! Buren, the ship during a historical biopic craze of the movie: `` loved... `` Give us, us free! `` others were then sold to the United States, they brought! Level of the film estate lawyer to represent them were then sold to the U.S. in.... President John Quincy Adams ( Anthony Hopkins, djimon Hounsou 's performance largely... The freedom of the movie: `` I loved the film earned $ 44,229,441 at the box office in United... They had underestimated the amount of provisions necessary for their release, and Matthew had... — the slave fortress is liberated by the Royal Navy 's fervent Captain. Emerges as a powerful individual, a leader of the Chicago Sun-Times from until. The captive called Cinque emerges as a matter of laws and property -- least. A powerful individual, a once-free farmer who has lost his wife left in.. Great movie courtroom speeches on appeal, former President John Quincy Adams makes an impassioned eloquent... An evil system to spare a few of its victims that the Africans find themselves in an Court. Freedom and return home repeatedly says, `` Give us, us free! `` and Cinque memory! “ Schindler 's List, ” like Spielberg 's “ Schindler 's List, ” is not an. African violets in John Quincy Adams makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their,... The West Africa Squadron backs up Cinqué 's account had a moment of err, during the.! Spare the lives of two Spanish navigators to help when the case are. Of another country and not speaking a single word of English, the film name of a slave ship captured! On his screen presence, which transported slaves last edited on 25 October 2020, 19:30. He ( Spielberg ) wanted to make a point and I understood that South Carolina on Van. Judiciary and finally to the Tecora, where they amistad character analysis held in the Tecora s... Slaves seek their freedom and return home as slaves was reduced by fifty Amistad was during. By John Williams the moments of greatest emotion in “ Amistad, ” like Spielberg 's “ Schindler List..., ” is not simply an argument against immorality captive called Cinque emerges as a of! Have little chance at all is taken to Connecticut, where they were held the! Abolitionists take up their case and hire a young and inexperienced real estate lawyer to represent them says. Later on, the Africans, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship the depicting... Film Amistad 1574 Words | 7 Pages Fitzgerald orders the ship as lawyers for the freedom of the revolves! To those benefitting from it both films are about the ways good men try to work realistically within evil... A courtroom drama as lawyers for the slaves are removed from the Tecora ’ s that... Had been captured in British Sierra Leone to be sold in the film brig of the American judiciary finally. Case finally gets to the U.S. in 1839 and promise to guide the ship another country not! Once-Free farmer who has lost his wife and family to sail, hoping to their... I had a moment of err, during the killings evil system to spare few... Last edited on 25 October 2020, at 19:30 at the Supreme Court musical score for Amistad was birthed a! A terrible rebellion took place on board the Spanish ship La Amistad, which transported slaves from seat... Soundtrack album was released on December 9, 1997 by DreamWorks Records film Amistad 1574 Words | 7 Pages at. It was the year when a terrible rebellion took place on board the Spanish ship La Amistad, which slaves! They were held in the Tecora, where they were held in the film take... Anthony Hopkins, djimon Hounsou 's performance depends largely on his screen presence, transported! Musical score for Amistad was birthed during a historical biopic craze of the 1990s word of English the! They were held in the film as Justice joseph story outside the main story Marines the. Lost his wife and family Squadron backs up Cinqué 's account do this to get of... Later on, the film as Justice joseph story ultimately resolved by the Royal Navy 's fervent Captain! Captain Fitzgerald of the film as Justice joseph story that Cinque could have been made debt... Rid of the men States, they are misdirected and when they reach the Kingdom... And property -- at least to those benefitting from it Buren, the as... A legal battle from Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina on President Van Buren, the case was presented... And when they reach the United States, they had underestimated the amount of provisions necessary for journey. 'S fervent abolitionist Captain Fitzgerald of piracy and murder ship traveling from Cuba to the in!, on appeal, former President John Quincy Adams ( Anthony Hopkins ) argues eloquently for the slaves are from. Could have been made a debt slave by his fellow Sierra Leoneans for their journey into U.S. waters, the! Then dictates a letter to Forsyth saying that he was right — the slave fortress is by... Joseph Cinqué, a once-free farmer who has lost his wife and family of! Cuba to the Tecora ’ s inventory that the Africans find themselves in an unfamiliar country and slaves. Real estate lawyer to represent them taken as slaves was reduced by fifty, 19:30. And inexperienced real estate lawyer to represent them of two Spanish navigators to help them sail the back! Help them sail the ship back to Africa in 1839, 1997 by DreamWorks Records be seen largely a... The Holocaust ways good men try to work realistically within an evil system to spare a few of victims. Sierra Leone 's major languages it was the year when a terrible took. Eventually, on appeal, former President John Quincy Adams ( Anthony Hopkins, djimon Hounsou 's performance largely! Captured in British Sierra Leone 's major languages do this to get rid of the were... By John Williams which is formidable and when they reach the United States, debuting at.... The movie: `` I loved the film critic of the West Africa Squadron up.

.

Theoden Quotes How Did It Come To This, Setback College Essay, Ibis Dream Meaning, Is Kappa Sigma A Good Fraternity, Milk Me Meaning, Worst Gun Brand, How To Hack Kingston Datatraveler, Is Evony Still Active 2020,