The Last Supper

As per John Mraz’s statement in his article: “Recasting Cuban Slavery, The Other Francis and The Last Supper”, about the relevance of The Last Supper towards accurate historical events, it’s safe to say that this film’s historical representation is on the most part truthful and not swayed.  Mraz stated that “it can be argued that both films (The Last Supper and The Other Francisco) meet many of our expectations of what history ought to be.”  One of the major themes pointed out in the film and brought much significance was the varied origins of the slaves within the owner’s grounds and were then brought to the Count’s dinner table.  The Count was attempting to reiterate the importance of religion by bringing this diversity of the slaves into his quarters and reenacting The Last Supper with Jesus.  With the Count trying to portray himself as Christ and purging himself by interacting towards his slaves.  Though, with trying to portray this Christian demeanor, throughout this dinner the Count repeatedly finds ways of downgrading and belittling the slaves who accompany him.  So he attempts to teach religion and the perseverance of the slaves persecution for true happiness in the end.  As the film continues and the slaves were promised not to work the following day as per religious regions, the Count decides to turn his back on what he has promised and also the Christian nature that he was so adamantly portraying the previous night, and the slaves end up being forced into work and therefore starting their rebellion in the name of their ”great owner.” 

In Kirsten Schultz’s article: “Slavery, Race, and Citizenship in the Empire of Brazil: Debates in the Constituent Assembly”, a Sr. Alencar is discussing among the assembly about article VI, that states citizenship can be granted to slaves who obtain a letter of manumission.  Sr. Alencar states that he believes that all citizens of Brazil should be granted citizenship but this would be against “the supreme law of the salvation of the state.”  He continues to explain that this means that while giving away property of other men among Brazil by emancipating the slaves, this would diminish agriculture which is mainly the wealth of their nation.  So again a man is portraying himself for being under the notion of equality, understanding, and freedom but at the same time goes back on his word for what is more egotistical.

The Count and Sr. Alencar both clearly represent what is historical and accurate events of the self-serving ownership of the slaves in not only Cuba and Brazil but most slavery ownership that is known in history.  Not only with the slave owners but also with the overseers as stated in Mraz’s article of the obsession that some of these workers took towards managing slaves.  A perfect example of this portrayed is with the overseer on the Count’s land in The Last Supper towards the runaway slave, Sebastian.  Mraz relates this to law enforcement officers of contemporary time periods towards the criminals they pursue or doctors whose practices seem to revolve around one patient.  The understanding but yet the purposeful withdrawal and repression of that understanding towards persecutions that were being committed towards Africans.  The undeniable satisfaction that some, if not most, owners obtained through their actions, behaviors, harsh punishment and criticism, towards their slaves.