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steven_NP
spielberg_NP
's_POS
"_"
amistad_NP
,_,
"_"
which_WDT
is_BEZ
based_VBN
on_IN
the_DT
true_JJ
story_NN
of_IN
a_DT
group_NN
of_IN
africans_NNS
who_WP
revolted_VBD
on_IN
board_NN
a_DT
slave_NN
ship_NN
,_,
then_RB
were_BED
captured_VBN
and_CC
taken_VBN
to_IN
america_NP
where_CS
a_DT
legal_JJ
dispute_NN
ensued_VBD
over_IN
who_NP
"_"
owned_VBN
"_"
them_PP
,_,
is_BEZ
concerned_JJ
with_IN
several_DT
different_JJ
aspects_NNS
of_IN
this_DT
story_NN
._.
first_OD
,_,
the_DT
film_NN
addresses_NNS
the_DT
issue_NN
of_IN
the_DT
inherent_JJ
evils_NNS
of_IN
slavery_NN
._.
second_NN
,_,
it_PP
deals_VBZ
with_IN
the_DT
historical_JJ
involvement_NN
of_IN
several_DT
american_JJ
politicians_NNS
in_IN
the_DT
case_NN
,_,
including_IN
president_NN
martin_NP
van_NP
buren_NNS
and_CC
former_DT
president_NN
john_NP
quincy_NN
adams_NP
(_(
anthony_NP
hopkins_NP
)_)
._.
last_OD
,_,
and_CC
most_DT
importantly_RB
,_,
it_PP
examines_VBZ
the_DT
cultural_JJ
confusion_NN
experienced_VBN
by_IN
the_DT
africans_NNS
who_WP
were_BED
forced_VBN
into_IN
slavery_NN
and_CC
the_DT
damage_NN
done_DON
to_IN
their_PP$
native_JJ
culture_NN
in_IN
africa_NP
by_IN
the_DT
slave_NN
trade_NN
._.
"_"
amistad_NP
"_"
succeeds_VBZ
at_IN
least_DT
partly_RB
with_IN
all_PDT
three_CD
of_IN
these_DT
elements_NNS
._.
i_PP
have_HV
to_TO
admit_VB
that_DT
i_PP
was_BEDZ
a_DT
little_JJ
skeptical_JJ
as_IN
to_IN
how_WRB
much_DT
i_PP
could_MD
really_RB
get_VB
out_RP
of_IN
another_DT
"_"
anti-slavery_NN
"_"
movie_NN
._.
having_HVG
seen_VBN
several_DT
other_JJ
movies_NNS
and_CC
documentaries_NNS
about_IN
slavery_NN
,_,
i_PP
doubted_VBD
that_CS
there_EX
was_BEDZ
much_DT
i_NN
didn't_DOD
already_RB
know_VB
about_IN
it_PP
._.
fortunately_RB
,_,
i_PP
turned_VBD
out_RP
to_IN
be_BE
wrong_JJ
._.
for_IN
one_CD
thing_NN
,_,
spielberg_NP
's_POS
camera_NN
never_RB
once_RB
gets_VBZ
near_IN
a_DT
southern_JJ
plantation_NN
and_CC
instead_RB
sticks_NNS
to_IN
the_DT
slave_NN
ships_NNS
and_CC
the_DT
slave_NN
traders_NNS
'_"
operations_NNS
in_IN
africa_NP
,_,
so_RB
"_"
amistad_NP
"_"
was_BEDZ
dealing_NN
with_IN
a_DT
different_JJ
part_NN
of_IN
the_DT
history_NN
of_IN
slavery_NN
from_IN
the_DT
very_RB
beginning_NN
._.
and_CC
some_DT
of_IN
the_DT
images_NNS
here_RB
are_BER
,_,
in_IN
fact_NN
,_,
much_DT
more_DT
harrowing_NN
than_CS
what_WDT
we_PP
usually_RB
see_VB
in_IN
movies_NNS
about_IN
slavery_NN
._.
one_CD
scene_NN
in_IN
the_DT
middle_NN
,_,
in_IN
which_WDT
the_DT
crew_NN
of_IN
a_DT
slave_NN
ship_NN
dispose_VB
of_IN
some_DT
of_IN
their_PP$
"_"
excess_JJ
"_"
slaves_NNS
by_IN
throwing_VBG
them_PP
overboard_RB
to_IN
drown_VB
,_,
has_HVZ
to_TO
be_BE
one_CD
of_IN
the_DT
most_DT
disturbing_JJ
film_NN
images_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
year_NN
._.
spielberg_NP
digs_VBZ
farther_RBR
into_IN
the_DT
evils_NNS
of_IN
slavery_NN
than_CS
i_PP
was_BEDZ
expecting_VBG
he_PP
would_MD
,_,
and_CC
in_IN
fact_NN
he_PP
probably_RB
goes_VBZ
about_IN
as_RB
far_RB
as_CS
a_DT
movie_NN
director_NN
can_MD
without_IN
getting_VBG
an_DT
nc-17_???
rating_NN
._.
the_DT
stark_JJ
suffering_NN
of_IN
the_DT
africans_NNS
is_BEZ
contrasted_VBN
sharply_RB
with_IN
the_DT
shallow_JJ
luxury_NN
of_IN
the_DT
politicians_NNS
,_,
such_DT
as_IN
president_NN
van_NP
buren_NNS
and_CC
queen_NN
isabella_NP
of_IN
spain_NP
,_,
whose_WP$
naval_JJ
officers_NNS
were_BED
involved_JJ
in_IN
the_DT
legal_JJ
dispute_NN
and_CC
who_WP
was_BEDZ
only_RB
a_DT
small_JJ
child_NN
at_IN
the_DT
time_NN
._.
exposing_VBG
politicians_NNS
as_IN
narrow-minded_JJ
,_,
opportunistic_JJ
hypocrites_NNS
is_BEZ
fairly_RB
standard_JJ
stuff_NN
,_,
of_IN
course_NN
,_,
but_CC
spielberg_NP
and_CC
writer_NN
david_NP
franzoni_NP
do_DO
it_NN
well_JJ
enough_RB
that_CS
it_PP
still_RB
comes_VBZ
off_IN
as_RB
something_PN
more_DT
than_CS
just_RB
a_DT
simple_JJ
exercise_NN
in_IN
audience_NN
manipulation_NN
._.
the_DT
film_NN
also_RB
examines_VBZ
the_DT
contentious_JJ
nature_NN
of_IN
the_DT
slavery_NN
issue_NN
at_IN
the_DT
time_NN
,_,
such_DT
that_DT
john_NP
quincy_NN
adams_NP
(_(
and_CC
probably_RB
other_JJ
politicians_NNS
like_IN
him_PP
)_)
,_,
who_WP
clearly_RB
disapproved_VBD
of_IN
the_DT
practice_NN
,_,
was_BEDZ
reluctant_JJ
to_TO
get_VB
involved_JJ
in_IN
the_DT
case_NN
until_CS
it_PP
was_BEDZ
appealed_VBN
all_PDT
the_DT
way_NN
to_IN
the_DT
supreme_JJ
court_NN
._.
the_DT
biggest_JJS
success_NN
of_IN
"_"
amistad_NP
"_"
is_BEZ
probably_RB
the_DT
characterization_NN
of_IN
cinque_NN
(_(
djimon_JJ
hounsou_???
)_(
,_,
who_NP
emerges_VBZ
as_CS
the_DT
de_NP
facto_NNS
leader_NN
of_IN
the_DT
kidnapped_VBN
africans_NNS
and_CC
struggles_NNS
to_IN
communicate_VB
with_IN
baldwin_NP
(_(
matthew_NP
mcconaughey_NP
)_)
,_,
the_DT
lawyer_NN
who_WP
represents_VBZ
them_PP
in_IN
court_NN
._.
through_IN
cinque_NN
,_,
we_PP
are_BER
given_VBN
a_DT
window_NN
into_IN
the_DT
native_JJ
culture_NN
,_,
as_CS
he_PP
and_CC
the_DT
displaced_JJ
africans_NNS
try_VB
to_IN
explain_VB
to_IN
the_DT
prison_NN
guards_NNS
what_WDT
they_PP
need_VB
for_IN
a_DT
proper_JJ
burial_NN
of_IN
a_DT
dead_JJ
tribe_NN
member_NN
,_,
or_CC
find_VB
an_DT
illustrated_JJ
version_NN
of_IN
the_DT
bible_NN
and_CC
try_VB
to_IN
understand_VB
the_DT
story_NN
of_IN
jesus_NP
christ_NP
._.
cinque_NN
sees_VBZ
the_DT
dispute_NN
with_IN
a_DT
clarity_NN
and_CC
simplicity_NN
that_CS
,_,
again_RB
,_,
contrasts_NNS
with_IN
the_DT
technicalities_NNS
and_CC
mechanics_NNS
of_IN
the_DT
legal_JJ
process_NN
and_CC
of_IN
the_DT
political_JJ
squabbles_NNS
._.
"_"
what_WDT
kind_NN
of_IN
country_NN
is_BEZ
this_DT
,_,
where_CS
laws_NNS
'almost_RB
'_"
work_NN
?_?
"_"
he_PP
asks_VBZ
baldwin_NP
in_IN
bewilderment_NN
,_,
when_CS
he_PP
learns_VBZ
that_CS
the_DT
case_NN
must_MD
be_BE
re-tried_VBN
before_IN
the_DT
supreme_JJ
court_NN
._.
spielberg_NP
's_POS
direction_NN
tends_VBZ
a_DT
little_JJ
bit_NN
towards_IN
the_DT
manipulative_JJ
side_NN
at_IN
times_NNS
,_,
such_DT
as_IN
when_CS
he_PP
adds_VBZ
a_DT
heavy_JJ
orchestral_JJ
swell_NN
to_IN
cinque_NN
's_POS
angry_JJ
outburst_NN
in_IN
the_DT
court_NN
room_NN
._.
still_RB
,_,
there_EX
isn't_BEZ
enough_RB
of_IN
this_DT
for_IN
it_PP
to_IN
be_BE
a_DT
serious_JJ
problem_NN
._.
the_DT
main_JJ
flaw_NN
in_IN
this_DT
film_NN
,_,
which_WDT
prevents_VBZ
it_PP
from_IN
earning_VBG
four_CD
stars_NNS
,_,
is_BEZ
that_CS
it_PP
seems_VBZ
like_IN
spielberg_NP
and_CC
franzoni_NP
can't_MD
quite_RB
handle_VB
all_PDT
of_IN
these_DT
issues_NNS
at_IN
the_DT
same_DT
time_NN
,_,
so_RB
instead_RB
they_PP
settle_VB
for_IN
addressing_VBG
each_DT
one_CD
separately_RB
and_CC
simply_RB
editing_NN
the_DT
results_NNS
into_IN
the_DT
same_DT
movie_NN
._.
this_DT
summer_NN
's_POS
contact_NN
,_,
for_IN
example_NN
,_,
dealt_VBN
with_IN
several_DT
issues_NNS
at_IN
once_RB
,_,
but_CC
each_DT
of_IN
them_PP
was_BEDZ
somehow_RB
present_JJ
in_IN
almost_RB
every_DT
scene_NN
and_CC
,_,
most_RBS
importantly_RB
,_,
all_PDT
of_IN
them_PP
were_BED
resolved_VBN
at_IN
once_RB
._.
"_"
amistad_NP
"_"
tries_VBZ
to_IN
pull_NN
it_PP
all_PDT
together_RB
in_IN
the_DT
end_NN
with_IN
a_DT
speech_NN
from_IN
adams_NP
,_,
but_CC
it_PP
somehow_RB
feels_VBZ
a_DT
little_JJ
forced_JJ
,_,
and_CC
in_IN
any_DT
case_NN
the_DT
speech_NN
itself_PPX
,_,
which_WDT
lasts_VBZ
almost_RB
fifteen_CD
minutes_NNS
,_,
wears_VBZ
out_RP
its_PP$
welcome_NN
about_IN
halfway_RB
through_IN
._.
perhaps_RB
the_DT
best_JJS
way_NN
to_IN
describe_VB
it_NN
is_BEZ
this_DT
:_:
"_"
amistad_NP
"_"
is_BEZ
three_CD
four_CD
star_NN
films_NNS
edited_VBN
into_IN
one_CD
._.
almost_RB
every_DT
individual_JJ
scene_NN
works_NN
,_,
but_CC
the_DT
final_JJ
product_NN
is_BEZ
lacking_VBG
the_DT
necessary_JJ
focus_NN
and_CC
coherence_NN
,_,
and_CC
thus_RB
is_BEZ
less_DT
than_CS
the_DT
sum_NN
of_IN
its_PP$
parts_NNS
._.
however_RB
,_,
i_PP
can't_MD
honestly_RB
say_VB
how_WRB
it_PP
could_MD
have_HV
been_BEN
done_DON
differently_RB
,_,
and_CC
in_IN
any_DT
case_NN
the_DT
story_NN
comes_VBZ
through_IN
with_IN
enough_DT
raw_JJ
emotional_JJ
power_NN
that_CS
it_PP
is_BEZ
still_RB
a_DT
very_RB
good_JJ
film_NN
,_,
and_CC
thus_RB
i_PP
recommend_VB
it_PP
to_IN
anyone_PN
who_WP
can_MD
handle_VB
the_DT
disturbing_JJ
imagery_NN
._.
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