Thursday, January 04, 2018
"Amistad": major slavery drama that took place 20 years before the Civil War
I recall seeing Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad” from Dreamworks at the Mall of America (in the days that the theater complex belonged to General Cinema) in December of 1997. I think that day a woman’s purse somehow got hooked onto my car and I had to call her to return it. I think she wound up buying a copy of my book.
And a good friend of mine from the Libertarian Party of Minnesota who would arrange my Hamline speech in 1998 would say that the film was “libertarianesque”.
It’s based on a book by Alexis Pate, who spoke at ReliaStar, where I worked in downtown Minneapolis at the time.
The film concerns a slave ship in 1839, and a rebellion of the slaves (Mende tribesmen) when crossing to Cuba from the United States. They had been kidnapped into the slave trade. Once in the US, their case wound up before the U.S. Supreme Court, twenty years before the Civil War. The second president John Adams (Anthony Hopkins) had been instrumental in their release. Djimon Honsou plays the rebel Cinque. Matthew McConaughey plays attorney Baldwin and Morgan Freeman, his assistant Joadson.
“This Dangerous Book”, by Steve and Jackie Green (who founded the Museum of the Bible), takes up the story in some detail.