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

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

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