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

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

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