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

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

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