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

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