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

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

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