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

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

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