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

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

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