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

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

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