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

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

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