Amistad

In: Historical Events

Submitted By KushxOj
Words 2024
Pages 9
Multiple Protagonists and No Concise Antagonist

Result in a Heartfelt Film

The 1997 Steven Spielberg film, Amistad, the Hollywood strategy of having multiple protagonists in one film is exercised to perfection. This situation happens many of times in movies. But the fact that it happens in Amistad is noteworthy due to the fact this movie, a movie about the happenings of the trial after a slave mutiny aboard a Spanish transatlantic slave ship, contains a protagonist that was neither aboard the ship, nor is he black. The other protagonist in the movie was a slave on the ship, and a good portion of the movie depicted his plight both during the mutiny and during the trial that made the audience want to be on his side throughout the film. There is no clear cut antagonist in this film. Is it the nation of Spain who wants its “property” back? Could it be the two Spaniards that were the only surviving “victims” of the mutiny? Or better yet could it be the finders of the ship La Amistad? No, in fact the antagonist is actually an establishment.

The first thirty minutes or so of Amistad starts out with the mutiny that takes place aboard the ship La Amistad. This dramatic scene shows vivid detail in attempt to bring the audience into the realm of the ship. Here the audience is introduced to Cinque, the leader of his tribe, who in the opening moments of the film uses his bloody hands to meticulously pick the lock to his shackles during a mid-ocean storm. It starts with the sweaty face of an obviously African man working on something difficult. As the screen pans out, the audience can then see him picking the wood around a spike that is locking his shackles into the timber. It is thundering what seems to be right overhead, and every time it lightnings, the audience sees his face more vividly. After freeing himself, he then frees his fellow shipmates.…...

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