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

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

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