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

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

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