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Amistad (film) - Movie Review Example

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They have been sold into slavery in Cuba. The films protagonist, Sengbe Pieh, popularly known as Cinque, a tribal leader in Africa, takes command of the ship after a mutiny, in…
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Amistad (film)
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Amistad (film)

Download file to see previous pages... Unable to communicate in English, they await certain death for the offence of killing their captors. But the legal point of the case is highly interesting. The Abolitionist lawyer argues that they are not slaves at all, but the free citizens of another country. The case reaches out to Supreme Court where John Quincy Adams makes a brilliant argument for their release.
Earlier, they are arrested by the American Navy. They are thrown into a dungeon and live in inhuman conditions, pending trial. The arrest of the slaves and seizure of the ship creates a big political storm, the issue reaches up to the President of the United States, Martin Van Buren (Nigel Hawthorne) The legality of the issue, having international ramifications, is highly complicated. The Africans are charged with insurrection on the high seas. Abolitionists work overtime trying to solve the case that takes complicated twists and turns. Besides the legalities of the issue, communication is a great problem, as no one is able to understand a word from the side of the African slaves. The problem of superstitious beliefs also intervenes. Here is Yamba, Cinque’s rival for power amongst the Africans, a convert to Christianity, and he has taken a novel stand on the impending death of slaves—that execution will lead them to a pleasant afterlife! In the meantime, the death of a young African provokes a strong protest that threatens to blow into a prison riot and rebellion.
The high legal drama in the court begins with the help of the linguistic abilities of Covery, who is specially recruited for the task. Cinque is able to make a heart-rending presentation about his capture and the conditions of the slaves in general and especially the cruelties they suffered in the ship. This has been done through a series of flashbacks in the movie. Throughout the Middle Passage in the ship, rapes, tortures, random executions are carried out by the crew. He recalls how 50 people are deliberately pushed into the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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