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

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

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