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

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

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