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

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

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