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500 Five-Star: Amistad (1997)

July 21, 2011


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know by now that Steven Spielberg is my favourite director.  Predictable, yes, but that’s because he is the best.  Amistad is an unfairly forgotten masterpiece of his, telling the true (if significantly dramatised) story of a group of slaves in 1839 and the legal battles they go through to prove their freedom.  Given the subject matter, it should be no surprise that Amistad contains echoes of Schindler’s List; in one segment, for example, the barbaric treatment of the slaves is portrayed in graphic, devastating detail.  However, for the most part, the story is told in courtrooms, brought to life by outstanding performances and a quite magnificent screenplay.  Add to this Spielberg’s effortless ability to craft a spellbinding story out of just about anything and you have an incredibly entertaining and powerful piece of cinema.



It might not be one of Spielberg’s most well-known films, or even one of his best, but even a ‘standard’ Spielberg is something to marvel at.


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