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

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

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