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

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

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