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Movie-A-Day #183: Amistad (1997).

July 2, 2011

On July 2, 1839, African captives bound for Cuba aboard the slave schooner La Amistad rebelled, gained control of the ship and eventually landed in Long Island, where they were taken into custody by the American government. The resulting trial, in which the Africans were represented by former President John Quincy Adams, became a referendum on slavery in the United States. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, which freed the surviving captives and allowed them to return home to Africa. The film “Amistad,” which stars Anthony Hopkins as Adams and Djimon Hounsou as rebellion leader Joseph Cinque, unfortunately gives the Africans kind of short shrift in favor of the white abolitionists.

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