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Based on a true story, Amistad is about the revolt of the slave ship Amistad. A group of illegally acquired slaves are forced onto a boat bound for America. Cruelly mistreated, they decide to revolt and take over the Amistad. When they wind up in America, however, it becomes a legal battle, at a time when the North and South are already arguing the issue of slavery and the Civil War is not far away. Several abolitionists are determined to free the slaves, with the help of a brilliant young lawyer (whose services are considered expensive at $2.50 a day, imagine that!). There is an unnecessary subplot about John Quincy Adams, who never quite lived up to the image of his great father, John Adams.
Not much of a history buff, I would've enjoyed the movie more if it was shorter, and if several tedious court room scenes had been eliminated, and if they had made their "points" quicker.
Although several highly dramatic and emotional scenes were extremely well acted, there was too much pointless filler in between.