Amistad Directed by Steven Spielberg

Topics: Amistad, Steven Spielberg, Slavery Pages: 3 (834 words) Published: May 20, 2003

I have watched the "Amistad" directed by Steven Spielberg, written by David Franzoni, presented by Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, Mathew McConaughey, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, and Stellan Skarsgard. It was rented from Hollywood Video to complete the assignment. "Who we are, is who we were", states attorney Baldwin, the persuading point reaching into the hearts of the jurors. Telling a story about the intriguing life and life lost of the Mende people. Their ending up in America and the tragedy and violent cruel torture they endured not only on ‘La Amistad", but also the treatment they received here in America. Who were these people? Why was it such an issue on whose "property" they were? The time was around 1854, and the progression toward the Civil War had begun. Stephen Spielberg's film "Amistad" is an illustrative tale of history inevitable course. On the surface, Spielberg relates the journey of Cinque's and his people to the America. In a larger sense, however, he contrasts a story of passage to America with its simple values and way of life to the arrival of an even more savage life and ideas of the civilization from Africa, a story of greater historical significance. The characters are not extensively developed; instead, they are simply presented, even understated at a point. Spielberg's intent is to draw vivid characterizations and to create objects and characters as symbols with larger meanings. Power and authority are the first symbol presented in the story, which had in the beginning and which ended up with in the end. The superior attitude of the ‘La Amistad's' crew and the harsh and cruel treatment of the passengers, implies how primitive and unrefined society was.

In addition to power and authority, characters were used as symbols. Treated like objects from the beginning, a metaphor for the ideals and principles of European society. In contrast, blacks traditionally were even simpler...
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