Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Amistad Review/Summary The movie opens as a slave revolt is beginning aboard the ship Amistad. The slaves free themselves, and take control of the ship. They kill the crew except fro two men whom they spare for use as navigators. They demand they be returned to their homes in Africa. Despite the watchful eye of the liberated slaves the men manage to steer the boat in the opposite direction where they are discovered by a U.S. warship. Some slaves are killed in an attempt to escape the Americans. The slaves are then brought to a jail where they await trial by judge for the murder of the Amistad's crew. They are brought to the courtroom where they meet their attorney, who tries to explain their situation to them unsuccessfully. He presents their case in court and surprising they win. The prosecuting attorney appeals the case, and a new judge is arranged to preside over the trial.

A judge who is thought would favor the prosecutor. The defending attorneys consult ex-president John Adams and he advises them to find out what the slaves actually experience, then use that story in court. The defending attorneys now begin a search for someone who can speak the slaves language, after a long search the find him. He helps to translate the story of how they where pulled from their villages and brought aboard a ship. How the sick where not fed and some were killed meaninglessly. When this story is told in court it persuades even the judge who was supposedly siding with the prosecutor. The slaves are proclaimed free, and their captors are aressted. The slaves and all those siding with the defendants celebrate. Their celebration comes to a halt when they find out the case is has again been...