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

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

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