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

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

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