Sunday, April 6, 2008

Amistad (1996) R - 4½ Stars

This is one of the most best movies I have seen on slavery. Steven Spielberg directed this true story of Africans taken against their will who rise up and rebel against their captures. In 1839, Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) and other African men, women and children were taken from their home in Sierra Leone. They were sent to Lomboko Slave Fortress where they were sold as slaves and put aboard the ship La Amistad under the rule of 11 year old Queen Isabella II of Spain. They are treated horribly and tortured and eventually rise up and take over the ship killing their captors.

The ship is seized by a U.S. frigate and the men put on trial for murder. Benjamin Wade (Matthew McConaughey) and up and coming attorney takes on the challenge of his life, trying to defend Cinque's human rights. The trial causes major controversy with President Martin Van Burean who fears civil war if the slaves are not returned as property to Spain. Wade struggles through language barriers and with the aide of John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) the two plots their next move. When Quincy gives the performance of his life in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, he brings the issues of slavery and the importance of treaties, to the forefront of the North; eventually winning the freedom for Cinque who returns back to Africa.

1997 - Amistad - Broadcast Film Critics Association - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

United International Pictures (UIP), DreamWorks
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: David H. Franzoni
Producers: Steven Spielberg, Debbie Allen, Colin Wilson
I viewed 4/08

No comments: