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

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

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