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

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

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