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

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

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