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

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

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