La Ultima Cena for 12 Unfortunate Slaves

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">La Ultima Cena </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">is the story of a slave owner, called The Count in the movie, who runs a sugar cane plantation in Cuba.<span>&nbsp; </span>One Easter The Count visits his plantation to try to connect with his slaves by choosing twelve of them to reenact the events of the Last Supper, putting himself in the place of Jesus.<span>&nbsp; </span>He also washes the feet of the twelve slaves.<span>&nbsp; </span>He does this in order to teach his slaves about Christian beliefs.<span>&nbsp; </span>Among the twelve is a slave named Sebastian who had recently attempted to escape and failed.<span>&nbsp; </span>The overseer, named Don Manuel, does not like this idea, as it will interfere with the slaves’ work and put the plantation behind in production.<span>&nbsp; </span>The Count promises the slaves they do not have to work on Good Friday, and Don Manuel tries to make them anyway.<span>&nbsp; </span>This leads to the slaves revolting and the death of Don Manuel and his wife.<span>&nbsp; </span>And eleven of the twelve slaves getting beheaded and have their heads put onto spikes.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Despite the unlikelihood of this event having happened in history, according to Mraz’s essay, it totally happened.<span>&nbsp; </span>It is almost exactly how the event actually occurred.<span>&nbsp; </span>According to the essay, the filmmakers did their research and stayed true to it, even from the slaves’ point of view.<span>&nbsp; </span>So much so that the movie “provides an insightful glance into the functioning of paternalism and religion in slave society.” (114)<span>&nbsp; </span>Slave rebellions were also apparently pretty common in Cuba at the time, being a “constant feature.” (119)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">It is not that surprising then to learn that slavery laws were largely disregarded at the time, which can clearly be seen in the movie.<span>&nbsp; </span>During the period of Cuban history depicted in the movie, owners were beginning to lose legal control of their slaves according to the article by Fuente.<span>&nbsp; </span>Slaves also began to gain what could be perceived as legal rights in Cuba.<span>&nbsp; </span>A similar event was occurring in Brazil at the time according to the article by Schultz.<span>&nbsp; </span>Also according to Fuente, slaves were very independent at the time. (664)<span>&nbsp; </span>They could request to be purchased by different owners and even buy their freedom.<span>&nbsp; </span>However, most slaves who started to buy their freedom were seldom able to finish making the payments. (668)<span>&nbsp; </span>Even “religious authorities encroached on the masters’ control over slaves,” as is exemplified by the priest on the plantation in the film. (666)<span>&nbsp; </span>Unlike The Count in the movie, masters could not legally harm or kill their slaves.<span>&nbsp; </span>They had to have “proper judicial order.” (669)<span>&nbsp; </span>The Count bypasses this step and has the eleven’s heads mounted on spikes as examples to his other slaves.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><span>&nbsp; </span><span>&nbsp;</span><span>&nbsp;</span>There are only eleven heads, because the slave who attempted to escape earlier makes it to freedom.<span>&nbsp; </span>Sebastian is last seen running free like hawks, rocks, and horses.<span>&nbsp; </span>All, including Sebastian, now imbued with power and freedom.<span>&nbsp; </span>Unfortunately, the twelfth slave in the historical event was not so lucky.<span>&nbsp; </span>He was beheaded and his head was “bespiked” like the rest of them.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Mraz said that the film was “good history and very good cinema, and that is an irresistible combination.” (121)<span>&nbsp; </span>He is absolutely right.</span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>