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

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

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