Africans and African Americans have been enslaved since colonial times when the United States was still ruled by the British. When the United States became a sovereign nation, it did not prohibit the practice. Only after the American Civil War was slavery abolished officially.
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Movies have long been interested in depicting the Holocaust, which is one of the worst crimes against humanity ever committed.
Hard-hitting documentaries about the plight of black people in the United States during their time as enslaved by whites serve as a sobering reminder of the country’s terrible past. It’s a reminder of how fortunate you are to live in a world that values individual liberty, regardless of color.
Films, in contrast to other forms of media, can immerse you in the lives of their characters, making the pain they experience all the more palpable for the audience.
Let’s take a look at the top ten best films on slavery in the United States.
1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, is the subject of a period drama film, taken on a narrative memoir written in 1853.
Not to mention the fact that he needs to keep his original identity a secret, Northup has a difficult time adjusting to his current situation. Despite the passage of many years, the film depicts slavery as a perpetual state of existence.
This film does not hold back when it comes to depicting and sounding like a scene of savagery. The slaves were subjected to horrible treatment, and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack ensures that you feel it. Many people think it’s the best movie ever made about slavery in the United States, and it surely deserves all the accolades it can get.
2. Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino’s anti-western film. ‘Revenge’ is the film’s core topic. This film, like all Tarantino films, is a blast to see. Racism, violence, drugs, rape, and all the other terrible parts of society are like a boiling pot.
In Django Freeman, Jamie Foxx plays a slave who is rescued by a German bounty hunter who is spiteful for his freedom. Afterwards, they journey to the South, where they hope to free Foxx’s slave wife from the plantation held by Monsieur Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), played by Morgan Freeman. A devoted and violent slave owned by the Monsieur is played by Samuel Jackson in the film.
Emotional sensations that are nearly provocative in character are offered to the audience in this video. One of the best films on slavery in the United States is Django Unchained.
3. Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Civil War era is shown in this classic American film. An adaptation of the novel of the same name.
Scarlett O’Hara, daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, is the film’s protagonist. One of the first female characters in early cinema to be overcome by lusts and passions. Resistance against social standards, particularly male dominance, is an important part of her story’s development.
This film is 3 hours and 58 minutes long, but it never loses its grip on the audience. For its day, it was a high-quality production, and its spectators were treated to a visual treat in Technicolor. Often regarded as one of the greatest American films of all time.
4. Glory (1989)
Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman star in this military picture starring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington.
The 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army, comprised entirely of African-American men, is the subject of this Civil War-era film, which tells the story of the white commanding officer, Colonel Shaw.
Nobody believed that black soldiers could be good soldiers at this point in history. One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought at Charleston, South Carolina, by this regiment. Discriminatory pay for black troops who are of the same rank as their white counterparts is also brought up.
5. Lincoln (2012)
Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis appear in an epic historical drama film about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.
When Lincoln was trying to get the 13th Amendment through the US House of Representatives in January 1865, this book concentrates on that time period. This film is more about the Civil War than Lincoln. In doing so, it exposes white people’s unwillingness to approve legislation granting African-American slaves their freedom and recognizing them as equals as a whole.
Many have praised the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis and the production values of Spielberg. Janusz Kaminski, Spielberg’s outstanding cinematographer, has created a cinematic joy.
6. Sankofa (1993)
The Atlantic slave trade is the subject of this Burkina Faso-based drama film.
This phrase, “Sankofa,” in Akan, means “return to the past,” which stresses the significance of learning from one’s history in order to advance in the present and future.
The movie begins in Ghana, where the heroine Mona, an African-American model, is visiting for the filming of a commercial.. She enters the Cape Coast Castle, which was utilized for the slave trade in the past, and enters a trance, being transported back in time to a plantation in the South.
While she is subjected to a great deal of sexual violence, there are instances where it may feel appropriate to kill the perpetrators.
7. Amistad (1997)
Steven Spielberg directed this historical drama film about the La Amistad slave ship disaster of 1839.
The Mende tribesmen, who were kidnapped by the Spanish and taken to Cuba, take over a Spanish ship that was en route to the United States and end up on the east coast of the United States.
The case is referred to as the United States vs. Schooner Amistad, and the Supreme Court will rule whether or not the’slaves’ were taken from Africa legitimately or illegally. The majority of the film is devoted to the courtroom proceedings.
8. Slavery by Another Name (2012)
Based on Douglas Blackmon’s novel of the same name, directed by Samuel Pollard, this documentary is an eye-opener.
After its legal abolition, slavery was nonetheless practiced for decades. In this documentary, descendants of slaves and their white owners are interviewed.
When the newly freed slaves were brought back to slavery, they were often forced back into servitude by the use of force and brutality.
9. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927)
Iconic and powerful, it is based on the novel of the same name and is an American film classic. Educational institutions utilize it extensively and the American Library of Congress has a copy.
In 1856, the narrative takes place. Eliza’s masters, the Shelbys, allow her to marry her beloved George, but the owner of George blocks the wedding. After learning of Shelby’s terrible plans, the story continues with what she does next.
10. The Birth of a Nation (2016)
Nat Turner, a slave who led a rebellion in Virginia’s Southampton County in August of 1831, is the subject of a new period drama film.
While Nat was originally assigned to use his preaching skills to control the rebellious slaves on estates, he was inspired to lead a revolt when he witnessed white slavers committing atrocities.