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

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

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