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

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

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