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

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

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