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

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

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