Amistad (1997)

R   |    |  Drama, History


Amistad (1997) Poster

In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.

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7.3/10
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  • Matthew McConaughey and Djimon Hounsou in Amistad (1997)
  • Morgan Freeman in Amistad (1997)
  • Djimon Hounsou in Amistad (1997)
  • Djimon Hounsou in Amistad (1997)
  • Djimon Hounsou in Amistad (1997)
  • Djimon Hounsou in Amistad (1997)

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10 December 1998 | BACK-2
10
| A film unfairly compared to box office winners that should have received far more recognition.
I do not attend more than a handful of movies a year at a theatre. I rent far more videos, Amistad being one of them. As I recall, Amistad did not wow the theatrical audiences big-time. But the expression "big-time" seems to indicate numbers of dollars and attendees. I am also a big fan of Anthony Hopkins and remember him as a compelling actor long before his Oscar role. I believe that he and the African actor Djimon Hounsou should have been seriously considered for acting awards. I don't recall that any were given or even suggested. The cinematography, set decoration, lighting, and editing were extraordinary. I was reminded that interior spaces in the 1830's were not garishly lit Hollywood sets with dramatic shadows. Perhaps the costuming was a bit overdone. Many of the actors appeared "dressed". The most emotionally devastating episodes for me were the barbaric transporting and drowning of the slaves. I literally held my hands over my face as these scenes unfolded. I hope this film lives on to become a classic. My respect for Spielberg's artistry has been taken to another level. Other viewers have commented on static qualities of this film. Well, folks, This was not "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "Judgement at Nuremberg"; it was historic filmmaking in more than one way. It was accurate, literate, and not politically correct or incorrect. Bravo, Dreamworks!

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