Amistad Movie Review


The movie Amistad begins with Cinque and many other Africans literally packed onto a slave ship. The conditions on this ship are terrible and many people die. The ship crosses the middle passage and docks in Cuba. Here the Africans are cleaned and thrown in a slave camp. While in the camp, the Africans are given different names. The owners of the camp hold slave auctions and sell Cinque and approximately 50 other Africans to two Hispanic men. These men load their "cargo" onto the ship the Amistad. We learn later that because the crew of the Amistad didn't bring enough supplies for everyone, they throw 10 to 15 people overboard. Conditions finally get so bad Cinque breaks free and heads an attack on the crew of the Amistad. The Africans kill all of the crew except for the two original slave traders. The two surviving men trick the Africans into thinking they're taking them home but in fact; they are sailing towards the United States. An American ship sees the Amistad and the A!
fricans are arrested and charged. When the Africans are put before a judge thefirst time many different people claim ownership of the slaves. Outside the courthouse we meet Roger Baldwin. Roger Baldwin is an attorney and he thinks the Africans should be set free. As the movie progresses the Africans go through two more trials and with the help of Baldwin and two other attorneys the Africans are "set free" twice. The only reason they have to go through so many different trials is because the president, Martin Van Buren, wants to get reelected and thinks that setting the slaves free won't help his campaign. When the Africans are forced to be on trial a third time, in front of the Supreme Court, Baldwin requests the help of former president John Quincy Adams. The former president uses Cinque's own words to help him win the case. The court decides that the slaves should be freed and sent back

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