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The slaves, led by a man named Cinque (Djimon Hounsou), commanded the last remaining sailors to return them to Africa but were instead conveyed to New York, where they were brought to trial for murder.The plight of these Africans became such a legal and human quandary that their fate was contested at every level of the American judiciary, ending with the United States Supreme Court.

Contemporaries immediately recognized the general's ''Commentaries on the Gallic War'' as a masterpiece, and Goldsworthy compares their style to Churchill's, even if ''the modern reader may sometimes balk'' at its ''catalog of unabashed imperialism, massacre, mass execution and enslavement'' in a province that included most of modern France. Goldsworthy, an independent military historian with several books on the Roman army to his credit, puts Caesar's war exploits on full display, along with his literary genius. His great charm was a signature political asset, but in the fashion of the day, he also had a knack for bribery, intimidation and -- some said -- murder. Cast: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew Mc Conaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Pete Postlethwaite, Morgan Freeman, Stellan Skarsgård, David Paymer, Nigel Hawthorne, Anna Paquin, Arliss Howard, Jeremy Northam. Franzoni (from the novel Black Mutiny by William Owens).Steven Spielberg's Amistad retrieves from the dark swamp of nearly-forgotten history a fascinating moment in American history when a ship full of slaves mutinied against the men who had captured them and packaged them like cargo.

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