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

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

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