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

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

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