Amistad Opinion Response Essay

Submitted By mayabou12323
Words: 468
Pages: 2

Maya Abou­Rizk
The Dehumanization of Africans
After watching the movie
, directed by Steven Spielberg, in class, I had a new understanding of what slavery was in the mid 1800s. The movie, in my opinion, was extremely interesting and clarified how Africans were treated in the time of slavery. One of my favorite parts about the movie was how the Africans spoke their native language. Clearly unable to identify with any other language or form of communication, the Africans were spoken to and about in English. Therefore, neither the Englishmen nor the Africans could understand one another. This feature, in addition to being tremendously realistic, showed the huge barrier between those trying to free the Africans and the Africans themselves.
Throughout much of history, the abuse of slaves has subsisted. In the movie
, the brutal and cruel treatment of these African people is shown through disturbing scenes that capture the dehumanization they faced during the 1800s in America. Spielberg’s depiction of the abuse and dehumanization through those troubling scenes allows the audience to further understand the conditions Africans endured during the slave trade in America.
In the beginning of the movie, the Africans have just been captured by the Americans.
They are portrayed as unintelligent. They are shown breathing heavily, making odd noises, and other actions that replicate those of animals. Seeing the slaves as animals rather than people in
Spielberg’s scene, the viewer is able to to see through the Americans’ point of view. And therefore, although unbelievable, explains why they saw and treated the humans as more

animal­like. As a result, the audience further understands the conditions of the Africans during the slave trade in America.
In the beginning of the movie, the Africans are shown on a boat. They are in a horrible dark, dirty environment. Each African