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

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

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