USA Today - 12/10/1997
"...Sheer power, moral and otherwise. It possesses a massively majestic hero..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
New York Times - 12/10/1997
"...It has excellent cinematography....Djimon Hounsou gives the film a strong visual focus as he radiates extraordinary presence and fury..."
Box Office - 02/01/1998
"...A monumentally impressive achievement and further proof of Spielberg's ongoing maturation as an artist..."
Based on actual events in 1838, AMISTAD is the story of captured African slaves who took over their transport ship in a bloody revolt with the hopes of returning back to their homeland. After the slaves are caught and imprisoned, their leader, Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), unable to understand the language or court system of America, tries to communicate his desire to return home to his defense lawyer, Roger Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey), and former slave Theodore Joadson (Morgan Freeman). The men plead for help with their groundbreaking court case from former president John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins). Steven Spielberg directed this moving film, using as a reference the book by William A. Owens, BLACK MUTINY: THE REVOLT ON THE SCHOONER AMISTAD. The Africans in the movie speak Mende, with subtitles added. West African actor Djimon Hounsou had to learn to speak the language for his role--and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Spielberg shot the film at the State House in Providence, Rhode Island, the seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, and other New England locations.
Steven Spielberg directed this powerful film depicting the real-life events that followed the 1839 insurrection aboard the slave ship Amistad. Desperate prisoner Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) leads his fellow prisoners in a bloody revolt on the ship and demands to be returned to Africa. When the slaves are recaptured and imprisoned in New England, lawyer Roger Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey) is hired to represent the Africans and their desire to return home. With the help of John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins), Cinque and Baldwin try their historical case in front of the Supreme Court.
Law / Lawyers |
Period Piece |
Prison / Prisoners |
Race Relations |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical release: December 4, 1997.
The film was shot on location in Newport and Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Mystic, Connecticut; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.