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The Middle Passage (2000)
"Passage du milieu" (original title)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 101 users  
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A realistic look at the horrors of the slave trade, told entirely through the voice of a dead African slave whose spirit haunts the ocean route.

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A realistic look at the horrors of the slave trade, told entirely through the voice of a dead African slave whose spirit haunts the ocean route.

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Drama | History

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14 February 2001 (France)  »

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The Middle Passage  »

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Self Indulgent Mess
13 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

It's unfortunate that an event of the magnitude of the shipment of millions of people across the Atlantic Ocean receives this sort of treatment. The movie is essentially a set of montages set to narration of an African taken captive and put on a slave ship bound across the ocean.

Unfortunately, the movie fails to really explain anything, it's an interesting mix of documentary and fiction, but the thing is dripping with appeals to pity rather than a real depiction of human beings. Pathos is everywhere, unrelenting--with brief glimmers of slave heroism. There's a real story to be told here, one that can engage the viewer with a real history and communicate the horrors of what actually happened. This isn't it. Unfortunately it's a common affliction--"Roots" failed, "Amistad" failed, there must be a way to depict this important event without such an unfortunate misguided mindset that turns real people into two dimensional cartoon victims.


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