hanging-out-logo

Film Blog

12 Years a Slave – A Missed Opportunity?

posted by the hanging out team - Sunday, January 26, 2014

12 Years a Slave is adapted by screenwriter and novelist John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen from a memoir written 150 years ago, by Solomon Northup.  It tells the true story of a black man born free in New York State, tricked, drugged and snatched off the streets of Washington and sold into slavery in the South.

There are great performances from all cast members with, Chiwetel Ejiofor holding on to the dignity of Northup, making the audience question what you would do if your freedom and power were taken away over night. Lupita Nyong'o makes a stunning debut as Patsey, a field slave who was born into slavery.

McQueen effortlessly draws you along the journey of the film with strong powerful visuals that tackle and immerse you into the ugly realities of slavery head on.

We get a well composed continued shot of Solomon's wondering face full of hope, fear and loss after a conversation with a sympathetic carpenter Bass, played by Brad Pitt, then his view falls onto the audience, engaging you into this moment of reflection on the journey he’s been through.

We also see Northup become the victim of an attempted lynching by his overseer, as he dangles from a tree by his neck, his toes scrabbling on the ground desperately trying to keep him self from dying. McQueen shoots this scene as a punishing long take from a distance. It’s length and intensity impresses on the audience a feeling of crisis.

The film has a very swift end, that feels rushed and I was left wanting more of Solomon Northup’s journey as a free man in New York. What was everyday life like for black people during that time in the free North? An opportunity was missed here to delve deeper into this story, as I think only then would the audience have truly been able to feel the real contrast between having freedom in one moment and then losing it all in the next.

You can watch 12 Years a Slave until the 30th January at the Rich Mix in Bethnal Green.

Elam Forrester, Hanging Out Project Writer

Trackback Link
http://www.hangingout.org.uk/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11836&PostID=462694&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags

150 years ago One Love 12 Years a Slave CGI Solomon Northup film The Avengers Sue Eakin Fantasy Writer Benghal Tiger Yvonne Deutschman Saratoga Springs Man of Steel Django Unchained Peter Sarsgaard Platt Quentin Tarantino Robert Redford Best Director Deep South Quvenzhané Wallis Dementia carpenter Bass Best Picture Louisiana Hans Zimmer Leonardo DiCaprio Kilburn Cameron Zeigler Idris Elba Kibwe Tavares New Orleans Joe Walker Devyn A. Tyler Jay Huguley Chris Chalk 2014 Golden Globes Slaves lynching memoir HBO TV Ruth Negga Morgan Heritage Frank Langella 1853 Factory Fifteen Best Actor Russell Crowe Steve McQueen Wyclef Jean Michael K. Williams Alfre Woodard British epic Cherine Anderson Joseph Logsdon Hanging Out Project channel 4 interview Sean Bobbitt Michael Fanti marek tarkowski Ky-mani Marley Elam Forrester fieldslave Dede Gardner Trevor D Rhone Anthony Katagas Ang Lee cotton Jamaica Rick Elgood Madonna west end pub Magnolia Henry Caville Rob Steinberg Dwight Henry novelist Bill Pohlad Arnon Milchan Richard Parker Sundance Film Festival Brixton Riots Sarah Paulson true story Robot and Frank historical walk the line overseer United States Michael Fassbender freedom Taran Killam Science Fiction Bob Marley Bocage Christoph Waltz Shaggy Bryan Batt Christopher Berry Bill Camp tricked Jamie Foxx Superman Don Letts Zack Snyder The Harder They Come Drama America Brad Pitt Paul Giamatti short film Prometheus Kelsey Scott Michael Shannon Robots of Brixton Zanzibar Jeremy Kleiner Sizzla Sly and Robbie Memory Loss Slavery New York State Adepero Oduye revenge Poster Paul Dano Patsey Destrehan violent drugged Oscars Illustrator The Life of Pi nine Academy Award best motion picture Regency Enterprises Black Friday long take Washington Britney Spears African American Bethnal Green Sean Paul John Ridley Garret Dillahunt Chiwetel Ejiofor Bob Marley’s son Scoot McNairy 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence controversy Lupita Nyong'o Felicity freeman Rich Mix black man violence free North Stoker Hanging Out Benedict Cumberbatch Jonah screenwriter 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Archive

    Business Hubs

    Tuareg Productions LTD
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    richmix
    saint-martins-college-of-arts-design
    xclusive-touch
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    xnew-art-exchange
    kent-creative
    ace-cafe-london
    xclusive-chauffeuring