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

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