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

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

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