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

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

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