Skip to main content

Film Review: 12 Years A Slave

   12 Years A Slave is a 2013 British-American Film Adaptation based on the 1853 Autobiography of the same name; which chronicles the life of a former Slave turned Abolitionist-Solomon Northrop. Solomon Northrop was a free man before he was kidnapped in Washington DC in 1841 and forced to work on plantations for 12 years in Louisana. 12 Years a Slave premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2013. The film was given a limited release in the United States on October 18, 2013 and is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2014.

      Official Plot/Synopsis: (Spoilers Ahead !)

In 1841, Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) is a free black man living with his wife and two children in Saratoga Springs, New York. He makes his living playing the violin. One day he is lured into a lucrative touring gig by a pair of men (McNairy and Killam). After a night out in Washington, D.C. with the two men, Northup awakens to find himself chained to the floor. In shock of what has happened, Northup realizes he has been drugged and sold into slavery.
Now under the name of Platt, Northup is transported by ferry to New Orleans, where he is purchased as a slave by plantation owner William Ford (Cumberbatch). Enduring his new life, Northup stays on good terms with Ford as he assists him by engineering a waterway for transporting materials more swiftly. Northup's ability to play the violin is also discovered, with Ford providing him with a violin. Because of his success on the plantation, overseer John Tibeats (Dano) becomes jealous of Northup leading to many quarrels between the two.
Eventually, Northup is handed over to another plantation run by abusive slave driver Edwin Epps (Fassbender). Northup's main duties are now picking cotton, which he is expected to collect 200 pounds of each day otherwise savagely beaten. The slave who constantly picks the most cotton is Patsey (Nyong’o), a gentle woman that is the center of Epps' affection, despite his distressingly aware wife (Paulson).
One day, while working in the fields, Northup is called out by the local sheriff. Inquiring about Northup's past life, the sheriff asks a series of questions to match him to his profile. Northup is then taken off the plantation to much of Epps' dismay. After being enslaved for 12 years, Northup is finally released and returned back to his family.





12 Years A Slave is a sobering reminder of the past; which allows the audience to see  the horrors of racism, bigotry and ignorance. Steve McQueen does not stop short of allowing the audience to truly see and experience the plight of Solomon Northrop, while also showing that history does not have to repeat itself; people can change-and for the better. It is important to go into the film with an openness that will allow you to truly see the struggle, pain and eventual redemption of not only Solomon Northrop; but a whole race of people. What is most mystic about McQueen's historical drama is the moments of silence throughout the film. This occurs several times throughout the film and upon viewing them I was able to surmise that Director Steve McQueen really wants to convey  empathy for the character Solomon Northrop. It is during these silent moments that we learn the most about Solomon and his struggles as a slave.


12 Years A Slave is  a truly gut wrenching story that not only encompasses the life of one man  but rather a whole race of people. It is grizzly, gory and at times frighting , yet  it is a beautiful and daring attempt to bring the horrors and  unforgiving reality of the antebellum South into account while  immortalize the life of Solomon Northup. 12 Years A Slave has had many predecessors; Amistad, Django Unchained and Roots are a few that come to the minds of most.  What sets 12 Years A Slave apart from other films is the no-nonsense approach that it takes  regarding transgressions such as Murder, rape, suicide,  and the auction block. McQueen gives a complete foray into what was done to a race of people and shows that the emptying of the human soul is how African-Americans lived for hundreds of years in the “America The Beautiful.” McQueen does not lollygag or sugarcoat racism instead he make the effort of forcing the viewer to witness the ugliness with no filter or escape. As brutal and heartbreaking as the film is to watch — can you imagine living it?

America has come along way but it still has a a long way to go.




Popular posts from this blog

These Cryptocurrency & Alternative Finance Apps Will Help You With Your 2018 Finance Goals

Investing can be intimidating, but despite all the hype, new and innovative ways to save and grow your money are hitting the app stores with surprising speed. Whether you want to play the cryptocurrency market or invest some spare change for the long term, here are five innovative alternative finance apps that we love. Acorns is so simple, you’ll wonder why it’s not standard. Just sign up for the service, link your cards to it, and every time you buy something, the service rounds up your purchases. So, if you buy something for $1.50, it rounds it up to $2 and invests the two quarters for you in a mutual fund. It’s dead easy, especially if you use your cards for everything, and as the app says, every mighty oak starts with an acorn.The one downside? Make sure you’re on top of your credit cards, because those extra pennies total up fast on your bill, too. Stash is a similarly painless investing app that lets you start with $5 and pick from a host of exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, essent…

Exclusive Interview: Filmmaker Mac Schonher shares details on his new Instagram Web Series, " Hero Named Rush"

Hero Named Rush is a new micro-series written specifically for Instagram, about Arthur Kang, an average New Yorker, who suddenly and mysteriously acquires super speed. The world of digital video series doesn’t end with Amazon and Netflix original offerings, nor even with all of “Seinfeld” appearing on Hulu. In recent years, the quality and quantity of indie web series has skyrocketed, and there’s no limit to the brilliant entertainment you can find on Youtube, Vimeo, and even Facebook Video. Now Instagram has joined the 'Rat Race'.

To get a taste of all the web series the world has to offer, we checked out, the newest Instagram addition "Hero Named Rush" and were so impressed by the series that we just had to sit down a speak with the series creator Mac Schonher .

Here's a snippet from our conversation with the young filmmaker:
What have been some of your biggest challenges as a filmmaker and web creator?
As a filmmaker and web creator, one of the biggest challen…

Exclusive Interview: Reverend Jesse Jackson

Reverend Jesse Jackson discusses Voter Registration, MLK50, and the state of Healthcare in this exclusive interview. Listen Below: