Essay Preview: Amistad
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Amistad is a though provoking documentary on real life events that took place during the period in American History between the Declaration of Independence through the Civil War while America was still deciding who they were as a country.
The movieÐƒfs main character was an African tribesman named Cinque. Cinque lived a happy life with his clan, until his village was invaded by a more powerful group of militant Africans. These Africans captured CinqueÐƒfs entire family and clan, and they were exported into the slave trade. They are taken to Cuba by way of the most horrific traveling conditions in which fifty slaves were bound with rocks and thrown overboard when provisions got low. When they arrived in Cuba CinqueÐƒfs tribe was still in shock from the horrendous events that had occurred during there travel to Cuba. Once in Cuba the Africans were immediately sold into slavery and placed in the bottom of a slave ship known as the Amistad. Next they were stripped of their cloths and dignity and placed in a chain gang underneath the ship. This segment of the film will open many eyes to the horrible atrocities enacted upon these poor slaves, and the terrible anguish and despair felt by these slaves. From the moment the ship sets sail the seas are in turmoil, and this weather sets the mood for the next part of the movie.
The conditions in which the slaves are forced to travel are the most horrible imaginable sailing quarters imaginable. The major turning point in the film is when one night Cinque begins digging at a nail in the ships hull and finally, with bloodied fingers, removes the nail and picks the locks on the chains. The next scene is not for the weak stomach because it displays in graphic detail the battle between the slaves and the captures in which a few slaves are killed compared to pretty much all the slave traders. Through much confusion the slaves end up in America. Once they arrive n America a courtroom drama ensues over who has rightful ownership of these slaves. One of the most touching scenes in the movie is when, during the huge courtroom argument between the white men over who shall receive ownership of the slaves, Cinque stands up and cries the few words he knows, ÐƒgGive us free, Give us free.Ðƒh
The night before the verdict is given the Catholic judge has an epiphany in front of the cross in his church in which he sees the lives of these slave paralleling the execution of Jesus Christ.