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

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

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