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

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

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