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

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

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