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

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

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