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

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

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