The Consulting Writer

aka The Frazzled Mom

12 Years A Slave

My delayed review for…

Academy award winner, 12 Years A Slave, is based on a book of the same name written by Solomon Northup, a free born African American from New York. This film was adapted from Northup’s memoir, which he had written a year after regaining his freedom. Adaptation was written by John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen.

This was an excellent film, brilliantly directed. Scenes within were made to be extremely uncomfortable.

Two moments come immediately to mind:

1) When men throw a noose around Solomon’s neck and string him up. The overseer of the plantation interrupted the attempt to hang Solomon and were run out. However, the overseer made no attempt to help Solomon. For nearly the entire day, we watch as Solomon balances on the tips of his shoes. As time passes, eventually the other slaves resume their business of working about the plantation. In the background, we also glimpse children of those slaves running, laughing and playing about in the grass. There is a reason, or many reasons, why they didn’t interfere to help Solomon.

The scene is relatively quiet, with the soft laughter of the children in the distance, a light breeze blowing and the scuffle of Solomon’s shoes.

I’ve seen other movies that show the horror of slavery. The awful cruelty of punishment, of hard labor. Despite the lack of whips, this moment stuck in my mind above most others in the film. Minimal action, maximum impact.

2) The whipping of Patsey. I won’t go into details, only to say that it was a horrific scene.

I was hesitant to watch this film, because I’ve watched other films on this subject and read books on the same. However, my curiosity over Solomon Northup and how he overcame this great adversity took over.

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This entry was posted on August 14, 2014 by in Books, Movies and tagged , , , .
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