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

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

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