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

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