La Amistad

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La Amistad

Report on the Movie

Stripped of all human rights and taken forcefully from their homes, these people truly know what it is like to suffer. Amistad is a powerful story of the fight against slavery, and the victory of the abolitionists. This film is very moving, and should have been given many Oscars for excellent acting and directing. It is an outstanding reproduction of actual history and truly gives the viewer a feel for what these slaves endured.

In the late 1830's, the ship Amistad (which ironically means friendship in French), sailed with it's cargo of slaves from Sierra Leone for the eastern coast of America. During the voyage, the slaves overpowered the crew, killing all but two of the crew. The crew members left alive were kept to help the slaves navigate back to Africa, the slave's home. The two crew members tricked the slaves and sailed instead to the coast of America. The slaves had no knowledge of navigation, and since they could not speak or understand Spanish, they had no real way of communicating with the crew except for gestures, which were normally violent. Not knowing that they had been tricked, the ringleader of the slaves, Cinque, took a boatload of slaves ashore and unloaded. They refilled their water buckets, which had recently been emptied. One of the men on the ship catches their attention and they see another ship coming up along side of theirs. They jump in their boat and row back to their ship. They are captured and taken to shore. They are thrown into jail. After this, it is a fight to free the slaves and in turn, bring an end to slavery all together.

One of the most moving scenes in the movie happens on board the slave ship. A woman has just had a baby, she knows that it will not be taken care of well if she dies, and she does not want it to have to live a life as a slave. During a whipping display, she throws herself over the side of the boat. I think that the reason she did this is that she would rather die...
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