Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate June 2001

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Reference: of Source: Source: "˜Amistad' Director: Steven Spielberg Rated: M15+ Year: Film The true-based film "Amistad" tells the story of fifty-three African slaves struggling to attain a basic right of freedom. The film begins with a scene that depicts a rebellion by illegally captured African slaves in 1839 on the Spanish slave ship "˜La Amistad'. They are led by Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), who desires to return back to his homeland, in Africa. After putting to death most of their captors on board, they drift around until picked up by Americans off the US coast. Their US captors put them into jail. However, a controversy is created when a debate starts over whom, if anyone owns them. In this historical epic, Spielberg presents to his viewers a piece of history through his biased interpretation of the event. In doing so, he explores the notion of "˜different worlds' in a cultural aspect, illustrating to his viewers the world of the African culture, colliding with the world of the American culture in the 1800's.

At this time, many people in America and Europe began to call for an end to slavery. This abolitionist movement was rife during the early 1800's. Consequently, supporting the African slaves in their battle for emancipation.

In the film, Spielberg portrays the two colliding worlds of the African culture and the American Culture to his viewers by contrasting the images of the African culture and the American culture. Spielberg presents this contrast of images through the use of costumes and traditional cultural rituals. Throughout most the film the African slaves are depicted in extremely diminutive clothing, if any. Presenting them in their native demeanour. Conversely, the American character costumes were quite formal and archaic, as the costumes are required to relate to the American culture during the period of...