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


Recent Posts


Tags

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

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