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

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

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