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

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

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