La ultima cena

The film La ultima cena was about a count, his slaves, and his sugar cane plantation. The primary conflict in the film is that of the justification of slavery. The overseers and master are thoroughly Christian and believe that the doctrine of Christianity justifies their ownership of slaves. The master of the plantation wants to assure his place in heaven after his passing and wants to introduce and educate his heathen slaves about the virtues of Christianity. While he does this as a selfless act, it makes it that much more selfish by disguising his motives as ethical and pious. Another reason for the attempted conversion of the slaves is to make them more passive and possibly accepting of the order of the world. By the end of the film the master, and owner of the sugar plantation, must know that his imprisonment of others is wrong. After his failed attempt at introducing and converting twelve of his slaves to Christianity they revolt and attempt to flee, with most of them being caught, killed, and beheaded. The primary opposing force, Sebastian is the lone survivor and escapee. He alone survives because he never trusted the whites, whether overseers or owners. The slaves themselves were portrayed very well, because they, like in real life, were not all from the same background. According to Mraz, many representations of slaves working on a certain farm or plantation are misportrayed in this manner. This is a very powerful overlooking of cultures, lumping the slaves together as one and devaluing their existence by thinking of them as a whole and not individuals.

It is interesting to note that a similar movie The Other Francisco, was accepted as a better representation between owner and slaves relations in Cuba during this time, according to the first article. The article states that “La Ultima Cena” “lacked formal complexity, going on to say that the story line was conceived based on a single paragraph from a previous work. The fact that they were adequately able to thrust an ultimately religious tale in a historical perspective should be commended. The film even goes as far as to introduce technological innovation in the harvesting of sugar cane to add to the setting. However, as seen in the American South, such technology eventually creates a product that a whole region relies on, and thus the institution of slavery is relied upon to greater extents.