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

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

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