Top 10 Slavery Movies

Depicting chains, inhumanity and racism, these Top 10 Slavery Movies bring forth the unadulterated realities of enslavement. The diabolical tradition of slavery questioned the very essence of the American Revolution which glorified the liberty of individuals. The American History bears testimony to the barbarous treatment meted out to the people of color and these Most Popular Movies About Slavery expose the hidden facets of this institution. Put your rose-tinted glasses down and watch the impudent dance of despotism that the Africans were subjected to through these mind-boggling Movies About Slavery In America. We have selected these Top Slavery Movies for you to explore the nuts and bolts of the custom of enslavement.


Top Ten Slavery Movies

Check out the list of Most Popular Movies About Slavery that we have arranged for you to go back in the past and soak in the bitter truth of bondage and servitude faced by the blacks throughout history.


1. Glory


The Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman starrer movie, Glory, is a depiction of the Civil War. Released in 1989 and directed by Edward Zwick, we have included this iconic film in the list of Movies About Slavery in America as it brings into limelight all those unsung, black heroes of the war. History has been indifferent to these heroes due to racism, as they are all black members of the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Based on Lincoln Kirstein’s Lay This Laurel and Peter Burchard’s book, One Gallant Rush, Glory has been accredited with awards such as the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for co-star Denzel Washington, Additional Statuettes for Best Cinematography as well as Sound Recording.


2. Goodbye Uncle Tom

Goodbye Uncle Tom

The directors, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi venture out to make a trip back into the Antebellum America with Goodbye Uncle Tom. This 1971, Italian movie makes it as one of the Top Slavery Movies as it analyzes the ideologies leading to racism and the derogatory life lead by the enslaved Africans. The directors borrowed heavily from the documents of slavery kept in public record  while infusing the facts with an element of fantasy. The film, therefore, is a pseudo-documentary that is often called a shockumentary or even a mockumentary. Goodbye Uncle Tom has had a mixed reception by critics owing to its controversial theme of exploring the monstrosity surrounding the institution of slavery in graphic detail.


3. Sankofa


A Burkinabe drama film released in 1993, Sankofa is directed by Haile Gerima. One of the rare Good Movies About Slavery, the title of the flick is a West African term that translates into the act of reclaiming the past so as to lunge forward. The movie is set in Ghana where an African-American woman travels back into the past and experiences the torments of slavery. Revolving around the Atlantic Slave Trade, Sankofa is a journey into the life and mind of the heroine who is perturbed with challenges that alter her sense of morality. A must-watch, this film has been nominated for the Golden Bear at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival.


4. Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

A silent film directed by Harry A. Pollard and released by Universal Pictures in 1927, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the best Old Movies About Slavery. It is based on a novel written by Harriett Beecher Stowe that has the same title. This version of the movie has majority of white people playing the role of the blacks with an exception of the character of Uncle Tom which is played by James B. Lowe. With a detailed description of the slave culture predominant in the plantations, this movie showcases the panorama of servitude confronted by the blacks in the hands of their racially superior masters.


5. Amistad


Directed by the critically acclaimed director, Steven Spielberg, Amistad is a dramatization of the slave uprising of 1839. Released in 1997, this movie depicts how the West Africans were fugitive slaves who were made to travel by ships. This motion picture takes into account the revolt of these slaves who were traveling by La Amistad and the impending International legal battle  that took place soon after they were re-captured. The movie has been accredited with numerous awards including four Academy Award nominations.


6. 12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave

The Oscar winning movie of 2013, 12 Years A Slave, narrates the experience of Solomon Northup’s 12 Years of Slavery.  A historical adaptation of Solomon Northup’s memoir of 1853, this movie recounts the trials and tribulations of Solomon, whose identity as a New York state-born free man gets sabotaged. Directed by Steve McQueen, this movie depicts the heart-rending and poignant story of enslavement that is validated through various agents inclusive of religion. With the talented actor, Ejiofor playing the role of Solomon, this flick has won numerous accolades.


7. Roots


Based on the novel, Roots: The Saga Of An American Family, this flick was aired on television in 1977. Written by Alex Haley and directed by Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene and Gilbert Moses, Roots deals with the theme of Haley’s ancestral descent beginning from slavery to freedom. With LeVar Burton playing the role of Kunta Kinte, Roots has been won 9 Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award.


8. Mandingo


Set in the Deep South in The United States of America, Mandingo is the adaptation of a novel by the same title written by Kyle Onstott. Directed by Richard Fleischer and starring actors like James Mason, Susan George and Perry King, this motion picture has received different types of reviews. While some praise the movie, some condemn it for its savage display of inter-racial relationships. All said and done, it still remains one of the Top Slavery Movies of all time.


9. Django Unchained

Django Unchained

One of the most interesting Recent Movies About Slavery, Django Unchained broke into the theaters in 2012 and has been among the favorites of the masses since then. Starring proficient actors like Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson, this film is written as well as directed by Quentin Tarantino. The storyline deals with the violent history of African-American slave trade and has won abundant accolades that include nominations in 5 Academy Awards categories.


10. Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Having released in Toronto in 2006 and a year later in the U.S. and U.K., Amazing Grace is a biographical drama film depicting the anti-slavery campaign in the British Empire. Directed by Michael Apted, the motion picture is founded on the life of William Wilberforce who led the protests against slave trade. As widely understood, the title of the movie is an allusion to the hymn called “Amazing Grace,” along with the experience of John Newton which influenced him to compose the poem. As a film featuring the abolition movement of slavery, Amazing Grace is, certainly, one of the must-watch Movies About Slavery.

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