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

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

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