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

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

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