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

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

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