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

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

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