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

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