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

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

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