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

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

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