Amistad is a 1997 American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the events in 1839 aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors' ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by the Washington, a U.S. revenue cutter. The case was ultimately resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841.


La Amistad is a slave ship transporting captured Africans from Spanish Cuba to the United States in 1839. Joseph Cinqué, a leader of the Africans, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. The mutineers spare the lives of two Spanish navigators to help them sail the ship back to Africa. Instead, the navigators misdirect the Africans and sail directly north to the east coast of the United States, where the ship is stopped by the American Navy, and the surviving Africans imprisoned as runaway slaves.


    More details

    award European Film Academy Achievement in World Cinema Award
    contentLocation Amistad Connecticut Cuba New York Washington, D.C.
    director Steven Spielberg
    editor Michael Kahn
    events La Amistad Slave Revolt slavery in the United States United States v. The Amistad
    genre drama historical
    keywords american civil war baldomero espartero beaten and whipped belong black market british sierra leone captaincy general of cuba capture civil war corporal punishment debt slave east coast former slave havana havana cuba isabella ii of spain james covey john c. calhoun john forsyth john quincy adams joseph cinqué kidnap legal battle lewis tappan lomboko lomboko slave fortress maria christina of the two sicilies martin van buren naval officer prime minister regency roger sherman baldwin royal marines royal navy runaway slave secretary of state sierra leone sierra leone colony and protectorate slave ship slave trade sold in the americas illegally south carolina spanish cuba speak supreme court supreme court of the united states survive tecora underestimated united states secretary of state west west africa west africa squadron william s. holabird
    musicBy John Williams
    nomination Academy Award for Best Cinematography Academy Award for Best Costume Design Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor European Film Academy Achievement in World Cinema Award
    producer Colin Wilson Debbie Allen Steven Spielberg
    productionCompany HBO Pictures
    publisher DreamWorks Pictures
    recordedAt Connecticut Rhode Island State House
    theme language and translation legal legal drama race and ethnicity war