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

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

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