La Amistad: Salvery

Essay by lybrian1High School, 12th gradeB+, May 2008

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La Amistad magnified my perception of slavery, and humanity. The movie put a face to something so horrific, cruel, and inhumane. It painted a picture of what slavery was; knowing something is bad and actually seeing it is completely different. It really opened my eyes and showed me these people were slaves, they were not humans but slaves. They have no rights, they are a good, and they are a property of someone. The movie was not scared to tell it like it is Steven Spielberg showed clearly how bad the slaves were treated. However, the one major flaw in the movie was that it did not necessarily correctly portray America. For example, the movie made it seem like a lot of people in the northern United States believed “all men of God are made equal”, in the John Q. Adams defence of the slaves at the Supreme Court. Where in reality that just because those people in the northern United States thought slavery was wrong did not mean they believed black people were equal to white people.

They did not believe all men were created equal.

In the movie the reasons given for slavery in the south downplayed the vile intent of southern slavery. Spielberg made it seem like the southerners had no choice but to use slaves. This was proven in the scene where the lawyers of the defendants were eating a meal with a southern slave owner. Because slavery enhanced the south’s ability to compete with their better off northern neighbours, which was the reason why they wanted slavery, and not because they’re naturally cold blooded. There was an inaccuracy of the portrayal of the south that would make us perceive the south was something it was not, but nevertheless slavery can never be justified.

If the...