Friday, April 18, 2014

Amistad: See It

I had intended to go see this when it came out, but never quite got around to it.  I watched it on Netflix Tuesday night.  It is powerful -- in some respects, more affecting than Twelve Years a Slave.  There are certain liberties taken with respect to oversimplifying involvement of some of the lawyers, but the essence of the film is pretty solid -- and horrifying.  The sequence at trial where Cinque describes the trans-Atlantic journey is well-attested and I may well use it in an upcoming lecture about the slave trade for my Western Civ class.  The sequence at the U.S. Supreme Court -- where a strong majority of the justices were slave owners, and overwhelmingly took the side of the Amistad's cargo -- matches the decision The U.S. v. The Amistad (1841)..

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