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

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

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