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

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

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