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

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

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