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The Amistad Movie Review

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The occurrence of La Amistad was a symbolic and meaningful part of American history, one in which Steven Spielberg tried to capture in his film. La Amistad, said to be one of the turning points of the abolishment of slavery and catalyst of Civil War, was a major event, which brought up the true meaning of morality and justice. The film's accuracy of the factual events that occurred with the crisis of La Amistad can be noted and applauded for, and should help Americans realize that a nation can have it's imperfections, and "dark side". This visual account of the mistreatment of slaves should question the morality and justice, which our nation holds so much pride in.

The movie itself was an accurate and moving embodiment of the terror of slavery and the justice that it produced. However, some parts of the movie and the factual history of La Amistad were different. Primarily, the movie itself did not contribute much of it's thanks and cite the most ardent abolitionist at that time; the character of Lewis Tappan, was insufficiently portrayed in the movie, and his arduous achievements and success in bringing the African Americans to liberty was not noted. Lewis Tappan, a man who worked so hard to bring the reality of justice and liberty to the American court system. Tappan was the man who helped put together the African's defense team, worked to improve their conditions of confinement, arranged for their education and housing after their release from jail, and lastly to raise the money for the return trip home to Africa. The highlight of the movie was on J.Q. Adams and Baldwin, former president and the defense lawyer, instead of the true abolitionist who started this whole adventure against the mistreatment of humans, Lewis Tappan. Along with that, there is also the problem of how popular Spielberg made this historical event popular within the American states. In actual history, people made a show out of the African Americans, with different people coming to ogle at the slaves, to pray for them (if they were religious leaders or pious men and women), to try to "moralize" them. Another significant difference can be portrayed in the fact that the argument to defend Cinques was mainly a question of morality. However, one of the main components that laid suspicion helpful to that of the Northern abolitionists, was the fact that La Amistad didn't even land near New York, that technically these "slaves" were being tried by the wrong court; instead of going to the closest country of the ship's arrival at the port, the fact that La Amistad landed near Connecticut, and was being tried by a slave state



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