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

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

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