12 Years a Slave


12 Years a Slave -Steve Mcqueen, 2013

I was quite appealed to the idea of a new Steve Mcqueen’s movie, so that when I first heard his movie was about to be released I told my self that no matter what I would watch that to the theatre; and, actually, I don’t always pay a visit over there, as money matters, unfortunately. Great expectations followed Shame, Mcqueen’s previous film released about 2 years ago, which deeply stung my heart with compelling performances given by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Critically acclaimed, British director Steve Mcqueen gained one of the most regarded ranks of my imaginative non-clear list in my mind.

I went to the movies clear minded and willing to make film jot on it, as if it was the very first movie I watched in my life. I must say 12 Years a Slave didn’t let me down at all, in fact I felt captured and spell bound. Of course, it is not the only movie I ever watched about racial discrimination and slavery in America but it certainly was one of the best I did watch; and not to be forgotten it is how long these themes have not been treated and hushed for too many years. The colours, the music (some notes by Hans Zimmer), the shots, the powerful convincing and felt performance of the actors make this work the cream of the crop of contemporary British cinema.

This is a story of a man whose freedom is abruptly taken away, whose family is torn off from him, whose faith in life never fades away. All this because of his skin colour, how outrageous and sad it is. It’s 1841, Louisiana, and that is what happens to Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor); he finds himself into the devil of slavery. Epps (Michael Fassbender) is one of his ruthless owners, and it is in his plantation where Solomon will pass the majority of his time as a slave. Violence is one of the main themes explored in 12 Years a Slave, alongside with history and understanding of unbearable situations, that, unfortunately, struck our imaginations but that happened for real, and are still happening. Completely conscious of this, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s study of his character impresses me particularly. I see the hatred, I see the hope, I see his soul. I also see the work that has been done by actress Lupita Nyong’o who plays Patsy, a young black girl abused and compelled to work to death under Epps’ ownership. Her grief-stricken role make us cast a tear, and with no shame I say I almost cried when I saw her being sexually abused.

12 Years a Slave is based on a 1853 memoir written by the eponymous slave. The importance of this narrative is sparked by truth which stands behind it. The aim of the movie is to show us a reality, untainted by stereotypes, imagination and exaggeration. Sheer sadness and comprehension is what we are left with and I strongly recommend the movie for this. 9 Academy Awards nominations, BAFTA nominations, Golden Globes won; I think I’m not the only one on earth who actually loved the movie. Happy to share this joy I felt in seeing a prominent future in the cinema industry.


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