Amistad Movie Review

Topics: Martin Van Buren, John Quincy Adams, Slavery Pages: 2 (595 words) Published: April 28, 2006
The movie that I choose to review is Amistad. I think this movie would be very appropriate with our course and subject. Set in 1839, a group of Africans take over a Spanish slave ship: directed by Steven Spielberg. Two abolitionists, Lewis Tappan (Stellan Skarsgard) and Theodore Joadson (Morgan Freeman) hire a real estate attorney Roger Baldwin (Mathew McConaughey), who is convinced he has the key to set African free. But pro-slavery President Martin Van Buren (Nigel Hawthorne) is on the other side. The case goes to Supreme Court where President John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins), inspired by the moral stature of an African name Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), defense freedom.

AMISTAD begins with the ship which allowed Cinque to free himself and then other slave on board. Then they attack their Spanish captors, killing violently all but two sailors so that they can sail back to Africa. But they end up in New York and American sailors capture them and taken to Connecticut, where Cinque and other African are jailed. Lewis Tappan and Theodore Joadson hire Roger Baldwin to defense African. Through the course of trail Baldwin's attitudes change toward Cinque and the Africans, and by the picture's end he has become abolitionist.

The trial is before Connecticut judge and jury with claims presented by Spanish slavers, the American sailors, and the US government. Also there is Spanish diplomat (Send by Spanish Queen) who intends to see the slaves returned to Cuba to be executed for murder. Baldwin finds documents that seem to prove the ship originated in Africa and not Cuba. So that they had been captured in Africa and were illegal international slave trade and must return back to Africa. Pro-slavery Martin Van Buren chooses a young judge name Coughlin. The abolitionists sense that the trail is against them and they appeal to ex-President John Quincy Adams for help, but he turns them down.

Baldwin and Joadson find a British/Mende (African) sailor who...
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