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

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

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