The Africans rise up and begin a mutiny against their captors on the high seas and are brought to trial in a New England court. The court must decide if the Africans are actually born as slaves or if they were illegally brought from Africa. If the Africans were born as slaves then they would be guilty of murder, but if their being brought here from Africa is illegal, they had the right to defend themselves.
Plot[ edit ] La Amistad is the name of a slave ship traveling from Cuba to the United States in It is carrying African slaves as its cargo. The mutineers spare the lives of two Spanish navigators to help them sail the ship back to Africa.
Instead, the navigators misdirect the Africans and sail north to the east coast of the United States, where the ship is stopped by the American Navy, and the living Africans imprisoned as runaway slaves.
In an unfamiliar country and not speaking a single word of English, the Africans find themselves in a legal battle.
District Attorney William S. Holabird brings charges of piracy and murder. Two Naval officers, Thomas R. Gedney, and Richard W. Meade, claim them as salvage while the two Spanish navigators, Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, produce proof of purchase.
A lawyer named Roger Sherman Baldwinhired by the abolitionist Lewis Tappan and his black associate Theodore Joadson, decides to defend the Africans. Baldwin argues that the Africans had been captured in Africa to be sold in the Americas illegally.
Baldwin proves through documents found hidden aboard La Amistad that the African people were initially cargo belonging to a Portuguese slave ship, the Tecora. Therefore, the Africans were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all.
In light of this evidence, the staff of President Van Buren has the judge presiding over the case replaced by Judge Coglin, who is younger and believed to be impressionable and easily influenced.
Consequently, seeking to make the case more personal, on the advice of former American president and lawyer John Quincy AdamsBaldwin and Joadson find James Coveya former slave who speaks both Mende and English.
Cinque tells his story at trial: Cinque was kidnapped by slave traders outside his village, and held in the slave fortress of Lombokowhere thousands of captives were held under heavy guard. Cinque and many others were then sold to the Tecora, where they were held in the brig of the ship. One day, 50 captives were thrown overboard.
Later on, the ship arrived in Havana, Cuba. Those captives that were not sold at auction were handed over to La Amistad. Fitzgerald explains that some slave ships when interdicted do this to get rid of the evidence for their crime.
After pressure from Senator John C. Despite refusing to help when the case was initially presented, Adams agrees to assist with the case. At the Supreme Court, he makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release, and is successful.
The Lomboko slave fortress is liberated by the Royal Marines under the command of Captain Fitzgerald. Because of the release of the Africans, Van Buren loses his re-election campaign, and tension builds between the North and the South, which would eventually culminate in the Civil War.Dec 12, · One of the astonishing facts revealed in Steven Spielberg's “Amistad” is that seven of the nine U.S.
Supreme Court justices in were slave-owning Southerners. His new film centers on the legal status of Africans who rise up against their captors on the high seas and are brought to trial in a New England court.3/5. Steven Allan Spielberg KBE OMRI (born December 18, ) is an American filmmaker.
He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era and one of the most popular directors and producers in film history..
After gaining traction in Hollywood with directing television and several minor theatrical releases, Spielberg became a household name as the director of Jaws (), which.
'Amistad' may not be the first, or fifth, or tenth film people talk about when Spielberg's name comes up. But it has more moments that will put your hair on end than other filmmakers' best works 76%.
'Jake' Gittes's rating of the film Amistad J.J. 'Jake' Gittes To be honest I was a bit afraid of watching this because I assumed Spielberg would picture the horrors of slavery. Amistad is a American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the events in aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture Produced by: Debbie Allen, Steven Spielberg, Colin Wilson.
Dec 12, · One of the astonishing facts revealed in Steven Spielberg's “Amistad” is that seven of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices in were slave-owning Southerners. His new film centers on the legal status of Africans who rise up against their captors on the high seas and are brought to trial in a New England court.3/5.