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

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

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