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

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

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