Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: Amistad

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins

Year: 1997

Genre: Drama

Rated: R

Length: 155 min.

IMDB Summary: About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.

Combine an award-winning director, a talented cast, a poignant musical score and breathtaking cinematography with one of the darkest hours of world history, and you get Amistad, widely regarded as the definitive film about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. While the plot is focused on the Amistad case, the film itself reverberates with the broader issue of slavery, including anti-slavery figures such as John Quincy Adams. My favorite scene was when the African men enter a church and thumb through an illustrated Bible, able to identify with the sufferings of Christ, after which Spielberg ingeniously shows the masts of three ships, resembling the three crosses. Brilliant and heartbreaking, Amistad captures the struggle of these men and a very determined lawyer to win their freedom. With masterful directing, Spielberg draws upon the lessons of history to forge an acclaimed film that celebrates hope and freedom even in the darkest of times.

For Parents:
Strong violence, some slavery-related nudity

My Rating:
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