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

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

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