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

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

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