Movie Review: "Amistad" (1997)
Director Steven Spielberg fights through visions, creatively-spoken, of an unforgotten U.S. trauma to make sense into a delicate story of the slaveship "Amistad", which brought West African Natives, personified in an overall-intense portrayal by actor Djimon Hounson, story-line supporting further cast as former U.S. president John Quincy Adams in a picture elevating performance by Sir Anthony Hopkins within a 1840s court room designed by Rick Carter and hot-spot-intense daylight-lit by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, where the movie also produced by Steven Spielberg in the first year of releases under the banner of DreamWorks Pictures (est. 1994) with further budgetary infusions by U.S. pay-TV channel HBO (Home Box Office) to present a 150 minutes motion picture for the bargain of 36 Million U.S. Dollars that lives from the occasional passionate performances by their cast members and one controversial representation of stormy night to day-time business slaveship sequence, where the West African Natives get treated like animals under deck and second rate human beings on deck to skin-splicing, blood-spreading consequences, which handles the director with utmost dramatizing care under punchy sound design, over-done light reflections, yet shying away from an infant death under panicked flesh moving masses and a more delicate-received musical score by John Williams, making "Amistad" a movie to be watched with the family, leading to a gathered discussion on U.S. history over tea.
© 2017 Felix Alexander Dausend (Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)
Action / Drama / History
Action / Drama / History
Amistad is the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the U.S. in 1839. It is carrying a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery in Cuba, taken on board, and chained in the cargo hold of the ship. As the ship is crossing from Cuba to the U.S., Cinque, who was a tribal leader in Africa, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. They continue to sail, hoping to find their way back to Africa. Instead, they are misdirected and when they reach the United States, they are imprisoned as runaway slaves. They don't speak a word of English, and it seems like they are doomed to die for killing their captors when an abolitionist lawyer decides to take their case, arguing that they were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all. The case finally gets to the Supreme Court, where John Quincy Adams makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release.
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