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

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

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