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

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