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

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

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