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

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

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