La Ultima Cena

La Ultima Cena is a film based on African slavery in Havana, Cuba. What makes this film different from most slavery films is that we get to see a different ethnicity treating slaves poorly rather than the typical white overseer. Being of Hispanic descent this movie really opened up my perspective on the whole slavery genre and definitely loosen my blinders of the stereo-typical white owner treating his slaves badly. The movie portrays the holiday weekend of Easter, were the Count washes the feet of twelve slaves and provides them with a meal of their lifetime. These twelve slaves play an important key role throughout the movie to which they provide us with a sense of reality of the hardships of being a slave. During dinner, the Count and the twelve slaves seem to enjoy each others company and tell stories that carry a unique message told by each different person. The Count explains how “happiness” comes from obeying your overseer and doing what’s told instead of disrespecting them by running away like Sebastian. Count tells the slaves at the table that on Good Friday there will be no work yet come Friday morning Don Manuel plans on working them throughout the day in order to get work done. Resistance occurs, to where Don Manuel and his wife are killed, the mill is burnt down and eleven of the twelve slaves head are left on a post of the hill to where the new bigger church will be built in honor to Don Manuel.

Shultz writes about in her article how manumitted (free) slaves in Brazil are unequally treated and the right for them to be able to vote or have citizenship in Brazil is unlawful. In Article six of Title II a “Brazilian” included slaves that were manumitted yet members of the assembly believed that slaves were undeserving, harmful and uneducated enough to be given the same citizenship as the members of the assembly. These same unequal rights are portrayed in La Ultima Cena by Don Manuel ignoring the slaves right to have Good Friday off. In both the scenarios slaves are being portrayed as less fortunate, inhumane, and looked down upon. In reality, many African slaves became conquistadors, captains and earned their freedom due to their skills (which were better than other ethnicity’s). At the end of the scene, two slaves who ate dinner with Count attempt to explain whats happen and they are shot to death without letting them explain the event.

To be judge by the color pigment of your skin in determining whether you are a slave, whether you have the right to vote, the right to be a citizen or for someone to tell you that being a manumitted slave means nothing despite how hard you fought and went through to finally get treated with some respect means nothing. This draws sympathy but not for the slaves but for those who tend to think they are better. Those that can’t seem to appreciate the Africans work despite knowing that they have the better skills. Those that don’t have remorse for beating the life of another human being or providing them with descent clothing, and living conditions. La Ultima Cena greatly captures both lives of a slave and Count providing the difference of superiority just by the color of the skin. It ultimately shows that being born into slavery, you will die as a slave. Old age tends to be a burden to where you are ultimately a slave until you die with no where to go or family to see.