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

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

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