Slavery is one of the most horrible and degrading things to ever come along in human history and quite honestly it’s been the biggest stain on our species since it was first implemented. Those that live in today’s society won’t know the depredations that their ancestors had to endure and no matter what anyone says the issue of slavery is next to nil compared to what it used to be. A slave is quite honestly someone that has no voice, no choice, and is meant to obey at all times without being able to offer any dissent. The movies that depict slavery are numerous since throughout history there have been many individuals that have enslaved across many different races. However it’s been noted in this country that slavery has undeniably been worse when it comes the black, or African-American community, depending on who wants to be called what, and it’s used as a constant reminder. Somehow it seems that the movies are a better reminder of why the idea of slavery is abhorrent to those living in the modern era.
Here are five films that feature slavery in various ways.
It’s true that many gladiators were slaves, but quite often if they survived and they gained the backing of the crowd they were perhaps some of the most well-treated slaves that ever existed as they were offered delights from their grateful masters. This form of slavery was rather brutal since in the beginning they were absolutely expected to fight and possibly die in the service of their masters without question. This practice eventually gave way to people that would actually sign up to be gladiators, but up until that point any conquered people or criminals typically became slaves that were used for the glory of the gladiatorial games.
One of the most famous slaves throughout history is the man known as Spartacus, who has inspired a few different representations throughout cinematic history, but was all too real. Spartacus led one of the most renowned uprisings in history when he and several Gauls went on to strike back against the Roman Empire in an attempt for freedom and possible revenge. While his campaign was anything but peaceful and he warred against the Romans with a passion that was born of his intense hatred for them. Eventually Spartacus did fall and the slaves that followed him were crucified, but it does go to show just how far a person will go to upend the status quo.
3. Django Unchained
Though the movie is one big dollop of western fiction it’s still struck a serious chord among viewers since the depiction of slavery has been one that has stuck for a while now and is considered to be something far too accurate for some folks. Given that this is a Quentin Tarantino movie there was bound to be a lot of disturbing imagery and content but at the same time it does seem to have created a buzz from the viewers who think it’s simply good cinema and those who question Tarantino’s methods in bringing this matter to light. All in all though it was a good movie even if it ran off the rails at times.
2. The Birth of a Nation
It’s ironic that Nat Turner was being touted around to quell any possible uprisings only to finally realize that he needed to start his own in order to strike back against those that were trying to use him for such a purpose. Some folks might actually have the nerve to say that if Nat didn’t like what he was seeing he could have just turned a blind eye or run away. Honestly it’s not always a great idea to simply turn around and fight against the injustice one sees in such a blatant manner as the response is usually swift and rather harsh, but to not acknowledge it all and do nothing is even worse since it implies that a person is broken and is beyond saving.
1. 12 Years A Slave
This would be one of the worst travesties to ever befall any individual and unfortunately it has happened in the past. While it might not be as documented as this story was, the idea of a free man being tricked and then sold into slavery against his will is something that anyone would rail against, and many would attempt to escape since there is no sense to it other than the bigotry that comes from those too narrow-minded to see the harm they cause. In the end Solomon did end up returning to his family and finally gaining his freedom, but the simple act of denying anyone that one thing that they’re given at birth is an affront to what it means to be human.
Freedom is a right of all and it’s worth anything to protect.