It was nominated for four Oscars Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Score. A lawyer named , hired by the abolitionist and his black associate Theodore Joadson, decides to defend the Africans. Sickness, brutality, mutilation and death are depicted in these scenes; blood is splattered across the deck of the ship as the visceral horrors of enslavement are brought to attention. Playing a man older than his age, Hopkins shines throughout, and once he takes center stage he ignites the screen with a bravura 11-minute argument that results in the freeing of the slaves and crushing the notorious Lomboka Slave Fortress. At least as important, if not more so, than Schindler's List.
Keep up the good work! In the United States, journalists, novel writers and preachers led the way to abolitionism—such as William Lloyd Garrison 1805—1879 Harriet Beacher Stowe 1811—1896 , and John Brown 1800—1859. Bassie - Additional Amistad African. The Africans have been given clothes. The is liberated by the under the command of Captain Fitzgerald. Historians may be guilty of many sins, but ignoring slavery is not one of them. Different groups of students can be assigned a rhetorical device to concentrate on.
A clear message celebrates every man's unique value. And eventually, on appeal, former President John Quincy Adams argues eloquently for the freedom of the men. Adams explains that in court the one with the best story wins; indeed, we hear many stories in the course of this gritty drama as each character tries to explain why his view is the right one. The fight is viscous and long. Judicial System and the Film Amistad The initial hearing of the Amistad case took place before a U. Summary: Based on a true story, a group of enslaved Africans aboard the slaveship La Amistad overtake the ship and attempt to return to their homeland.
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. Positive Elements: Viewing this film permanently changes a person's perception of slavery. The film gives the distinct impression that the Supreme Court was convinced by Adams' plea to repudiate slavery in favor of the natural rights of man, thus taking a major step on the road to abolition. While strolling in the gardens, Adams is introduced to two of the country's leading abolitionists; the elderly freed slave Theodore Joadson Morgan Freeman and Christian activist Mr. The movie Amistad includes both aspects. The case goes to the Supreme Court, where the Africans are defended by none other than John Quincy Adams Hopkins , the former president and son of founding father John Adams. The Amistad Case in Fact and Film by Eric Foner Historian Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, examines the issues surrounding the historical film Amistad.
Gedney included in his statement the account of the mutiny as told by Ruiz. Kula - Additional Amistad African. But the Spanish sailors tricked the Africans and sailed up the coast of the United States until an American naval ship off the coast of Connecticut captured them. General Background The Movie Amistad 1997 Director: Steven Spielberg Screenplay: David H. How will the judges decide? Calhoun is a racist who strongly influences Van Buren.
The enslaved Africans are not represented as supplicants: they have fought for their freedom. The two have heard of the plight of the Amistad Africans and attempt to enlist Adams to help their cause. Find out about the legal situation of slaves in the U. Before viewing this part, the students should be introduced to or revise camera angles and movements and the scenes should probably be shown twice. Luckily, it is a Northern court, or they would have little chance at all. Violent Content: A twisting sword through a chest is shown under the flashing glare of nighttime lightning. Those captives that were not sold at auction were handed over to La Amistad.
He relayed that the Africans could speak only native African tongues and that one of the two Spanish plantation owners, Jose Ruiz, spoke English. In this context, historical films gain special importance. He advises Joadson to find out who the Africans are. Gedney claimed that it was with great difficulty and danger that he and his crew were able to recapture the Amistad from the Africans. If one wishes to understand the causes of the Civil War and the development that led to the Emancipation Proclamation, it is imperative to understand the role of slavery in the nineteenth-century United States. Regrettably, the always brilliant Freeman is totally wasted as Joadson, functioning as no more than a link among the various episodes, a possible result of the fact that his fictional character is a composite of several historical figures. Not all of the states that construct the U.
The public is able to perfectly understand the feelings and motivations of the characters, and how the problem of those slaves is handled by each of them, until turn into a diplomatic problem and a national controversy. By drawing maps, Baldwin finds proof for his assumption that they were captured in Africa. The film opens on the ship Amistad, where Cinque is able to free himself from shackles and release his fellow prisoners. Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and has the ultimate legal authority in interpreting the U. Over dinner, Baldwin explains the legal background of the case against the Africans. Clerk of Supreme Court uncredited.
It is this expression of the corporeal which marks the film as innovative and which has won it so many accolades. The brutality perpetrated against the slaves is shown as inexcusable and vile. Kapr - Additional Amistad African. These teaching notes are based on the lectures and workshops of the U. The director strives a tad too hard to emphasize the universal elements of the 19th-century case of injustice, using a deliberate visual style that accentuates and often inflates every single idea and image. In the end, most of the Mende dialogue ended up on the cutting- room floor.