"Amistad" is a magnificent movie based on the happenings after the Spanish slave ship "Amistad" came to Connecticut in the year 1839. The film stars the talents of Matthew McConaughey as the young lawyer Baldwin, Morgan Freeman as Theodore Joadson, Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams and newcomer Djimon Hounsou as the slave's leader Cinque.
Baldwin and a well-off black, Joadson, work together to represent these 53 slaves on the Amistad. Though they first encounter language comminucation problems as the slaves only speak Mende, they are heard by an African residing in the town who becomes their translator. Cinque tells Baldwin and Joadson then of the terrors of the slave fortress off the coast of Portugal and the trading going on in Cuba. Through the talent of actor Djimon Hounsou, we become mesorized of his terrible tales.
After the slaves are tried free at a district court, they must however go to the supreme court where John Quincy Adams represents them. Through his brillant public speaking, he convinces the Supreme Court to free the slaves as all individuals are free in the Declaration of Independance. The slaves go free, and choose to go back to Africa, but Cinque finds that his family has been sold into slavery and his town destroyed.
"Amistad" sets out to tackle an unfavourable period of American history with decidedly mixed results.
Set in the 1830s, the film is based on the two volumes of "Amistad" essays that chronicle the uprising of African slaves who seize control of their Spanish captor's ship and attempt to return home. As is often the case in film-making, history has been remoulded for the sake of dramatic tension. Ironically,the end result is distinctly underwhelming, despite the challenging fusion of both experienced and fresh talent involved.
Leading the practiced is director Steven Spielberg, with his undeniable skill for box office success, and emboldened by his work on "Schindler's List". With him, he brings such seasoned...