AMISTAD is about a 1839 mutiny onboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the Northeast Coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the slave who led the revolt.
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When I first saw this movie I was about 8 years old... I remember that iloved the movie because the black men won their freedom. But when I saw itwhen I was older...about one year ago, I was touched. This movie is somuchmore than the fact that they win their freedom. It is about friends, hopeand justice. They bond that is created between Mr.Baldwin and Cinque is sogreat that it drew me to tears. And with the wonderfull music from JohnWilliams it makes this movie one of the greatest.
This review is from: Amistad (DVD) I ordered a DVD at Amazon.com and received the item 2 days after my order. No delivery charge and no sales tax. Can't beat it! I love Amazon.com being a prime member (free 2 days delivery). Never fail! I stop going to the store now since it is easier and faster at Amazon.
Okay okay... this movie might be good for one to watch if you do notrecognize the struggle of the native Africans who were abducted to the US.But for the rest of us - this is just yet another movie where a good storydrowns in the "American way". The black people that are abducted allconverts to Christianism - just because of ONE Bible. The so-called Americanideals of freedom are repeated again and again, thus making this movie moreof a defense of the Americans rather than an attack on the US' exploiting ofslaves.
Full of stereotypes, cliches and bad acting. This movie relies on the viewer having a strong sense of entitlement and thus being aloof of the less than subtle insults aimed at caucasians. The film notes the African's language had not developed abstract words such as "if". The script tells us the Africans are morally superior and thus their language does not need the word "IF". Because "you either do something or you don't", the African leader sagely informs us. Who are the buffoons in this film? The Christians who devote their time to protest against slavery are depicted as useless and referred to as "those miserable people". Good music, scenery, and comic relief were not featured in this film.
This movie takes my race off the hook for slavery, sort of. Whew! Now maybe African-Americans will point their fingers at the Spanish people instead of mine. Maybe I'm seeing things, but Steven tells this story like American white people's crap smells better than everyone else who participated in slavery. Maybe I just have too many African-American friends, have heard too many stories from the mouths of their grandparents or I have read too many books. I thought Steven was all into realism, but I guess not when it comes to whipping blacks. Shooting Jews is okay to present realistically, but the treatment of Black prisoners who get all upset that they can't bury their dead... They start whooping and hollering, and dancing like Shaka Zulu, but anyone who's seen any footage of the civil rights movement in the 1960's knows that they would have been beaten for their impudence. It's the Spanish who dump them overboard, but I'm supposed to believe that they wouldn't have been flogged into hamburger if they got uppity in an American prison? I believe that kidnapped Africans took over a slave ship, because that happened. But it was a Spanish ship wasn't it? On an American ship, those Africans would have stayed put. "Give us free" indeed!As dramas go, fine, it's good. But even I, a white guy, can see the displacement of America's part in the slave trade, legally or illegally. All the heroes of this film are white. They had Morgan Freeman for goodness sakes! He can make speeches too you know! Ever see "Glory"? I am a Caucasian at grips with the history of my race in the USA. Black comedians build their careers on trash-talking white people, untalented black film makers would have no careers without us white villains, so no film about black people and their struggle here will ever make me feel guilty, and I like to think I'm not the only one. Times have changed. Humanity has matured since then, and white and black people get closer and closer with each generation as racism is slowly but surely filtered out of our respective cultures. Isn't it time for a movie that truthfully illustrates the reality and stone cold evil of the slave industry? Not just Whites or Europeans, but blacks too?This was a good Drama, and is good to get people thinking of the terrible mistakes of the past, but it doesn't truthfully present these Africans, what they had to do for their freedom and what really happened when the Americans got a hold of them. Believe me; the case was not ever about the moral question of slavery and they end the story too soon, just in time to avoid the fact that Tappan and his associates tried to found an African mission, using Cinque's party as a nucleus and how Cinque had established himself as an independent power and became a successful slave trader himself.This would have been a better miniseries, done by a director more compelled to tell the truth. It is a very good drama however.
Golden Globe nominated director/producer Steven Spielberg has veryrarely made a film or two that not everyone is interested to see orforgets easily, but this is one of those films in his collection.Basically it is 1839 aboard the slave ship Amistad sailing from Cuab tothe U.S.A., carrying a cargo of Africans chained up and sold for theslave trade. Things change though during the crossing when Africantribal leader Cinque (Blood Diamond's Golden Globe nominated DjimonHounsou) gets everyone to rebel and take control of the ship. When theyreach America they are arrested as escape slaves, and none speaking aword of English it looks like they face death killing many men aboard.Lawyer Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey), with the concern of Joadson(Morgan Freeman) and some help later on from the experienced JohnQuincy Adams (Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Sir Anthony Hopkins) isdetermined to free them not just as free citizens, but as free fromslavery. In fact, they plan to abolish slavery, particularly of blackpeople, completely and forever, and thankfully in this courtroom dramathey win the case. Also starring The Madness of King George's NigelHawthorne as Martin Van Buren, David Paymer as Secretary Forsyth, PetePostlethwaite as Holabird, Pirates of the Caribbean's Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rdas Tappan, Anna Paquin as Queen Isabella, Love Actually's ChiwetelEjiofor as Ensiign Covey, Cape Wrath's Ralph Brown as LieutenantGedney, Candyman's Xander Berkeley as Hammond, Enigma's Jeremy Northamas Judge Coglin, The Muppet Movie's Austin Pendleton as Professor Gibbsand Licence to Kill's Pedro ArmendÃ¡riz Jr. as General Espatero. I didreally like the bit where one of the black slaves was showing Cinquethe pictures Jesus from the bible, but that's really the only memorablebit. The film is a little lengthy just twenty or so minutes short ofthree hours, it is trying too much to press the same buttons asSchindler's List did, it just wasn't quite for me, but it's an alrighthistorical drama. It was nominated the Oscars for Best Cinematography,Best Costume Design and Best Music for John Williams, and it wasnominated the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama. Worthwatching, at least once!
Steven Speielberg is a very talent film-maker but he sinks on this film.i'm wanting Morgan Freeman's character&Dijimon Hounsou charater to have more pressence but not here.they have no voice.but the characters of Anthony Hopkins&Matthew Mcconaughey have to save the day.typical of Hollywood.always have to smooth things out when something serious is going on and the voice that needs to be heard is silent or forced to be Soft.it's a crying shame.every voice deserves to be heard.
This review is from: Amistad (DVD) When I purchased this DVD I had never watched the movie before and was anxious to see it. It met all my expectations. While the story line is one that is difficult to watch at times, it is a part of our history and needs to be told. The actors were great, the portrayal of the cruelty to the slaves frank but sensitive, and the message powerful. This is one to keep.
A truly provocative film about slavery and prejudice. Steven Spielbergworks his dramatic magic once again to give us the horrific tale of theLa Amistad slaves and how they fought for their freedom. The scenerywas very realistic and the acting was superb. Such actors like MatthewMcConaughey, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Anthony Hopkins were excellent,but the one that stands out from the rest is Djimon Hounsou. He wasexcellent as Cinque. As with "Schindler's List," I was emotionallydevastated when it was all over. I won't tell you if they get theirfreedom or not, but I will say that it's a story that should be taughtto everyone and not just a select few.
Amistad is the kind of movie that makes a tired topic seem fresh and entertaining again.
Having just seen the new release AMAZING GRACE twice,I revisited AMISTAD for the first time in nine years.Not only has AMISTAD stood the test of time,but it has aged like a wonderful wine does.AMAZING GRACE points out that the slave trade in England was abolished in 1807,and European countries followed suit,as well as the U.S. in following years.What AMISTAD brings to the table is that it's story occured historically in 1839!!!!Just because laws and treaties were enacted did not mean that the slave trade was not still being done.The other point that the miniseries ROOTS also pointed out that,like in AMISTAD,Africa itself had civil war brewing within and that Africans sold other Africans in order to gain support,amunition and power.A most valuable film to be watched and heeded by all.I am so sorry I waited nine years to revisit it.How sad that the film,though acknowledged with four Academy Award nominations,was not rewarded,for what ever reason, with a single win! How Anthony Hopkins and composer John Williams and director Steven Spielberg were not honoured is still an amazement.Another excellent companion film about the slave trade would be A RESPECTABLE TRADE and the 70 minute documentary also entitled AMISTAD.Still,no film has ever conveyed so graphically what slaves aboard the ships endured;thank Steven Spielberg,who also brought us SCHINDLER'S LIST, for keeping us always alerted to the injustices in this world,HOLLYWOODIZED OR NOT!!!!!!!
When I was learning about the African slaves and my Social Studiesteacher showed us a film based on it but couldn't watch it for thehorror and nudity.So later I asked the name,it was Amistad and thenSaturday I went to rent the movie and later I stared seeing it.For sureI taught it was a boring documentary but right in the beginning italready stared the blood violence mutiny.Every little piece of themovie was fantastic,a great film when 9I first saw it.And in the middleI saw how they treated the slaves and believe me it was not pretty,notpretty at all.They whipped them,killed them,they bathed them horriblefor selling them,danced with them,dumped some Africans of the ship,andserved them disgusting mush.Now I understand why she wouldn't let ussee it.And then I found out it was directed by SevenSpeilburg,amazing.I should have known-ed that this beautiful work ofart was created by him.Only he can make and wonderful movie likethis.Warning this my not be appropriate for people who arenon-racism,but could know how they were treated and facts on somethinglike this.
I have long been a fan of the movies put out by Steven Spielberg.Lately, he has taken true historical events and turned them into suchcaptivatingly beautiful movies that none can compare. What Spielbergdid for the Holocaust in Schindler's List, and WWII in Saving PrivateRyan, he did with our terrible past of slavery in Amistad. While thismovie was not hailed by critics far and wide, and was actuallyconsidered unsuccessful, those who understand what truly makes a movieand a beautiful story will see the power of Amistad. As usual, thedirecting is emotional and heart-wrenching and the cinematography isbeautiful. The acting on all accounts is wonderful and captivates theessence of the time. The actual story of the Amistad, slavery, and thepersonal view through Cinque is powerfully moving. This is a movie notto be missed that pack an emotional punch for any who watch it. But donot expect much action. It is purely drama, and the story's power liesin the words, expressions, and actions of the actors who make it up. Itwill really make you think. Truly one of the most beautiful movies I'veseen, once again, Spielberg has proved himself to be the master ofputting the human spirit on the silver screen.
I thought the movie was great, and had a lot of good qualities inregards to dialog, directing, acting, etc. But, to me, the movie seemedto have the fundamental flaw that almost all films about Africans,African-Americans, have. That is, the movie shifts its focus to the"hero" white man, who is one of the "good ones" that is out to help theblack people. So much attention is given to that character in many ofthese movies, that I sometimes forget the movie is actually about ablack man.I think it is an unconscious decision many film makers make, becausethey feel guilty about slavery, and the oppression of black people;that they want to redeem themselves in someway by writing in acharacter who was just, and compassionate. I don't deny that whitepeople like this did exist in that time, but that is not what themovies are originally about. If you want to make a movie about a goodwhite guy, who did not listen to the racism of his era, then that isgood. But if your movie is about a black man who was wrongfullyoppressed in some way, then keep the movie about HIM.Peace.
Spielberg seems to be dividing his filmmaking output into two distinct halves: in the summer months cranking out no-brainer dinosaur flicks...in the winter season unveiling his serious artistic stuff to edify the adults and woo the Oscar crowd.
I got the package a day or two after I ordered it. Very fast and efficient.
Dismissed on its release as a dry civics lesson or as "Schindler's List withslaves", which is a shame, because there is so much intricate stuff going onhere that fans of Spielberg and his normally in-your-face approach might notgrasp the moral ambiguity and more subtle touches that roam beneath thesurface. In a year dominated by Titanic this was publicly dismissed as tooserious or arty...Why is it un-Spielberg? Ponderous pacing replaces storytelling fluidity andspeed, his normally active camera is replaced by more painterlycompositions.. Instead of having stuff jump at you, you have to search forit or feel it without truly realizing it: touches of genius are verypresent, but differ from the original style (like the brutal insurrectionscenes, cargo dumping scene, etc).The story itself focuses on a mutiny aboard a transatlantic slave ship, ledby Cinque. The ship is intercepted by the American navy and a messy trialensues to see who has rights regarding the cargo, Spain, America... or arethe slaves not "legal" slaves after all? Cue abolitionists hiring youngproperty lawyer Baldwin. These events, based on facts, occur before theCivil War.I can feel people sighing from here. "Oh, no: not a courtroom drama...".Labelling it as such would be missing the point by a mile. It is so muchabout context and moral ambiguity, and ultimately the tragic ridicule of thesituation.Amistad is also a technical marvel. Janusz Kaminski's (SPR, Schindler'sList, AI, Minority Report...) photography is superb, a dark study in sepiabrowns. The acting is magnificent, mainly two amazing performances. One byAnthony Hopkins as former president John Quincy Adams (an unusual turn forhim, where he really soars), and the other by Djimon Hounsou (later cast asJuba in Gladiator) as Cinque being the true gem.Ultimately, Amistad's greatest strength is that it avoids offering any easyanswers and in that sense, does to subconscious issues about race andslavery what Kubrick's 2001 did to space travel and progress, albeit withmore humanity and more accessible drama.It's a shame this film is never talked about.
"Amistad" is a good film, presenting an interpretation of a real-life 1839mutiny aboard a slave ship and the resulting trial in the U.S., with thefreedom of the slaves hinging on the outcome. What I like is the originalidea--choosing this little-known but interesting event during the Presidencyof Martin Van Buren (who?), having non-English-speaking black slavesdefended in court by "John Adams" (Quincy--who's that?), and the legalconcepts involved.Both the plight of the slaves and the events in their quest for victory aredramatized well, moving and evocative. Slave leader Cinque(Djimon Hounsou) is a sympathetic protagonist, and Anthony Hopkins as JohnQuincy Adams is stolid and staid but very eloquent in court. Stately MorganFreeman is citizen intermediary rather than a slave. As for the critics whoinsist Steven Spielberg was trying to portray this event as a significantprecursor to the Civil War rather than for its own sake, I say, give me abreak. There is nothing in the film that suggests that (gee, the meremention of the Civil War?). They need to say something to make themselvesfeel important, but the only way to get the answer to what Spielberg thinksis to ask him, and reviewers do not do such things.
All criticism aside, one of the most powerful statements against slavery and man's inhumanity towards his fellow man. It seems that when it comes to slavery and America's shameful past, we try to ignore that it ever happened. Too few films have portrayed the slave trade or the continued illegal slave trade, such as that of Spain's, that was still taking place then. No one wants to be reminded of that dark past, but we tend to stand tall concerning other issues, "lest we forget". And yes, Cinque was a man without a language in this foreign land, like any of us would have been. Hats off to Mr. Spielberg, for one of his most powerful works to date.
I THINK THAT EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE REGARDLESS OF WHAT NATIONALITY YOU ARE. THIS MOVIE DETAILS THE TRUE HORROR THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS WENT THROUGH AT A TIME WHEN NO ONE WAS WILLING TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST SLAVERY. THE MOVIE WAS A TRUE EYE OPENER TO WHAT AMERICA WANTS US TO FORGET.