Amistad is a 1997 American historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the events in 1839 aboard the Spanish 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.


The schooner La Amistad is transporting black slaves off the coast of the Spanish colony of Cuba in 1839. A captive, Cinqué, leads an uprising against the crew, most of whom are killed. Two navigators, Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, are spared on condition they help sail the ship to Africa. The Spaniards predictably betray them and instead sail into US waters, where the ship is stopped by the U.S. revenue cutter Washington, and the mutineers are arrested.


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    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 1840 united states presidential election american civil war american south antebellum south arrest baldomero espartero ban black slave captaincy general of cuba cinqué civil war confirm the judgement court case former slave freedman havana isabella ii of spain james covey john c. calhoun john forsyth john quincy adams joseph cinqué kidnap kill language barrier legal battle lewis tappan lomboko maria christina of the two sicilies marine salvage martin van buren meet middle passage pinckney\'s treaty prime minister queen isabella regency roger sherman baldwin royal marines royal navy salvage schooner secretary of state sierra leone sierra leone colony and protectorate slave fort slave ship slave trade south carolina spanish colony of cuba supreme court supreme court of the united states tecora the 1840 election transatlantic slave trade treaty of san lorenzo u.s. representative u.s. revenue cutter united states house of representatives united states revenue cutter service united states secretary of state uprise wash washington west africa west africa squadron william henry harrison 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 DreamWorks Pictures HBO Films
    publisher DreamWorks Distribution LLC
    recordedAt Connecticut Rhode Island State House
    theme legal drama