“La Ultima Cena” (The Last Supper) tells a story of hardship for a group of slaves working at a sugar mill, during one particular Holy week. Their overseer has them working very hard, no matter what age or gender they are. The majority of the film is spent at a dinner. The count invites 12 men to Church, he washes their feet, and then they eat dinner with him. During the dinner different stories are told from all of the men, including the count. The men are told they don’t have to work on Good Friday and rebel when Don Manual wakes them up to make them work. Some of the men set the mill, and some barracks, on fire and take off on foot. The men from the dinner left behind are made “examples” of. The overseers decapitate them setting their head on top of a pole, on the hill where the new Church will be. The movie ends with the camera zooming towards the pole where Sebastian’s head should be, a runaway slave who has not been caught by the overseers.
Initially the film seemed like an accurate portrayal. There was no respect for the slaves as humans, none of the slaves seem to have any “possessions” and wore very drab clothing hardly covering their bodies. The set was not anything elaborate, it was actually the opposite – it was an eyesore. The Mraz article discusses the difficulty of having first hand slaves to talk, it is hard to capture their feelings entirely because of this. We can only assume how they may have felt. Most slaves could not read or write, so there wouldn’t be much left behind from them. Pictures and writings from the overseers are what we have to depend on in order to capture the historical accuracy. The article also mentions that there were specific people in charge to gather all of the appropriate materials to capture everything accurately. It was important for them to gather as much information as they could so their imaginations were not left to wonder.
The film did a good job of having the slaves tell their stories with song and dance, as with many African traditions, at the supper. The stories told from the slaves and from the count were very different. The slaves also included more “folk lore” type stories. The most interested part of the film were the moods of the slaves at the supper. Some of the men seemed incredibly happy. Why would they be happy? Maybe the thought of being treated to a good meal would put them in a good mood. The moods of the other men seemed more realistic. The men were tired and unhappy, but almost emotionless.
The film seemed to have been created for a purpose of portraying life during such a difficult time for these slaves. The film shows hardships, bad relationships, and emotions of men and women who were thought of something less than human only because of their skin color.