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AMISTAD (1997)
The world’s history is one of peace and violence. Over the years human kind has learnt to deal with its past, using it for the betterment of the future. One particular trait of history, which depicts a valuable lesson learned, is slavery and racism. Over the course of a century, human kind has slowly accepted differences not only in skin color, but of ideas, values, cultures and beliefs.

Amistad is the story of a slave ship (named Amistad) 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 help when they land. Instead, when they reach the United States, they are imprisoned as runaway slaves.

They dont 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

The movie demonstrates how when one puts their minds beyond the norm, beyond the stereotypes of the times, beyond the boundaries of race and color, could discover the meaning of the human spirit.

“Freedom is not given. It is our right at birth. But there are some moments when it must be taken”. This is the famous tagline from the movie, which depicts the true nature of freedom. Freedom is a right for every human being on the face of the planet regardless of race, color, wealth, citizenship, power and intelligence.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Amistad was released in1997 and stars Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Nigel Hawthorne, Djimon Hounsou and Mathew McConaughey. It was nominated for 4 Oscars and another 6 wins and 22 nominations.


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