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

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

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