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

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

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