The One List: Amistad


Year: 1997

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, , Matthew McConaughey

Why It Deserves Your Vote: Not counting 70’s Blaxploitation flicks like Mandingo or The Legend of Nigger Charley, the uniquely African American story of American slavery had never been put on the big screen in a major way until Spielberg’s 1997 film which followed the true story of the aftermath of a slave revolt at sea. While some have criticized the film for being more about the white, good-hearted protagonists, one of Amistad’s most lingering effects is its opening. Shackled in the ship’s hull, slave Cinque (Hounsou), desperately claws at a nail – the last obstacle to his physical freedom – before leading a bloody assault on the ship’s crew. The film puts all of us – black, white, Asian, Latino – in the same place and asks us the same question – “how far would you go for your freedom?” CAST YOUR VOTE NOW!