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

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

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