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

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

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