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

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

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