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

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

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