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The Amistad Case in Fact and Film

Historian Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, examines the issues surrounding the historical film Amistad. In this short essay he explores the problems faced by the producers of Amistad and the shortcomings of both the film and its accompanying study guide in their attempt to portray history. More importantly, Foner raises questions not only about the accuracy of details and lack of historic context, but also about the messages behind Hollywood’s portrayal of history as entertainment.

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