Episode 100: Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997)

 One panel of the Amistad Memorial, designed by Ed Hamilton, that stands outside of New Haven's City Hall. (Photo by Thomas Breen)

One panel of the Amistad Memorial, designed by Ed Hamilton, that stands outside of New Haven's City Hall. (Photo by Thomas Breen)

Description

This marks the 20th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s AMISTAD, a 1997 historical drama about a successful revolt among enslaved Africans aboard a Cuban slave ship in 1839, those Africans’ subsequent recapture and detention in, among other places, New Haven, Connecticut, and the subsequent landmark United States court cases that resulted in the Africans’ freedom. 

On today’s episode, host Tom Breen talks with Yale Film Studies Center director Michael Kerbel, Gilder Lehrman Center postdoctoral associate Joseph Yannielli and local film critic and lecturer Steve Fortes about Spielberg’s take on the Amistad uprising and trials, how themovie holds up two decades after its initial release, and how it resonates for audiences in New Haven where this story is so widely celebrated as one of this city’s primary connections to an international history of anti-slavery and civil rights.

Links

Treasures from the Yale Film Archive screening of AMISTAD: http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/event/eventView.do?b=de&calPath=%2Fpublic%2Fcals%2FMainCal&guid=CAL-ff808081-5e1b392f-015e-3451c399-000079e4bedework@yale.edu&recurrenceId=

New Haven Independent article about Marcus Rediker's documentary GHOSTS OF AMISTAD: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/a_peoples_history_of_the_amistad/ 

Joseph Yannielli's talk on "“The Mendi Mission and the African Rehearsal for Reconstruction”": http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/event/eventView.do?b=de&calPath=%2Fpublic%2Fcals%2FMainCal&guid=CAL-ff808081-5e1b392f-015e-3946e364-00000183bedework@yale.edu&recurrenceId=